Youth of the Year nominee Juh’Quayden McCollough speaks to Boys & Girls Club of the Piedmont supporters during Thursday's fundraiser luncheon.

A Safe Place: Boys & Girls Club of the Piedmont changes lives

Posted at 1:27 PM on Mar 14, 2019

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Boys & Girls Club of the Piedmont dancers performed during Thursday’s luncheon.

FROM STAFF REPORTS

There was a time when Juh’Quayden McCollough would sit in the corner and cry over being bullied at school.

Now 15, McCollough is a poised and confident young woman who helps other children who are struggling and has plans to pursue nursing and medical school.

McCollough told those gathered for a fundraising luncheon Thursday that she credits the change in her self-confidence to the support she received at the Boys & Girls Club of the Piedmont.

“I can be myself and not be judged,” she said. “The youth center has made me a better person.”

That’s exactly the experience Interim CEO Clarissa Flowers Young hopes for each of the hundreds of children served by the Boys & Girls Club.

“This is a safe place where your voice matters and there’s always someone to listen, she said.

During 2018, the club served 563 children through its afterschool and summer programs, which include academic support, physical activity, mentoring, arts and more. In addition, Young said, more than 44,000 meals were served to the children over the course of the year.

The club is also expanding, with a satellite location serving students at Shepherd Elementary School.

“We are growing and extending our services to reach all the children who need them most,” she said.

During the luncheon, the Rev. William Jones honored the seven teenagers who lost their lives in a car accident 15 years ago. Their deaths sparked a community effort that led to the creation of the local Boys & Girls Club.

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