We are proud to announce the winner of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Siouxland Youth of the Year is Ernesto Hernandez. Hernandez, along with fellow candidates Alexis Crooks and Robert Tayborn, each submitted an application with three essays, letters of recommendation and their school transcript. After they presented their individual speeches and participated in interviews with the judging panel, they were rewarded with an afternoon of fun activities including laser tag and frozen yogurt.

We concluded our Youth of the Year competition with a dinner at the Ho-Chunk Center. Along with the presentation of participant speeches, former Club member and recipient of Boy of the Year, Andrew Pearson, spoke about his experiences at the Club and what it meant to his life as a young man and as an adult.

Ernesto Hernandez will move onward to the Iowa State Youth of the Year competition on March 17th, where Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend will join 2013 Boys & Girls Club National YOY winner Trei Dudley as guest speakers.

Participants in the Junior Youth of the Year Event were Alek and Star.

We are so proud of all of our Club members and look forward to seeing more growth and involvement as the year, and their lives, continue.

Staff Appreciation Night: We Love Our Team

We appreciate our amazing staff every day of the year, but on one special night we really show it. Hosted by the awesome Terri Rexius at Bob Roe’s Point After, our Staff Appreciation Night was made possible by board member donations as well as raffle prizes and desserts. Thanks to Joe Durham and Jack Ehrich who helped in planning. Also, thanks to Tom Betz, who provided raffle prizes, and Briana Wren, who made delicious cupcakes for everyone! A BIG thank you goes out to all our board members who donated money for gifts and the event. It was a fun night that the staff really appreciated, and it meant a lot that everyone involved took the time and effort to celebrate a year’s worth of hard work.

Bring Back The 80s!

We had an awesome 80’s week in February with our own breakdance competition on February 10th. Congratulations to Yiftilim who won our competition, and thanks to everyone who ‘busted a move’ and shared their dancing talent with us.

Kids in the Kitchen Dish Up Some Support for the Soup Kitchen

As part of their holiday/winter community project, Our Kids in the Kitchen group made some delicious treats that the LaunchPad Museum sold to the public. Earnings from that were donated to the Soup Kitchen along with canned goods collected by our Torch Club. Thanks to all who helped out!

Team Member Spotlight: Mike Ingram

When Mike Ingram joined the Boys & Girls of Siouxland as a Youth Development Specialist and Coach, he didn’t quite know what he was getting himself into. And now, 13 years later, he’s happy to report he still doesn’t. “Working here, I’m guaranteed to learn something new every day,” he says. “There’s never a dull moment.”

Ingram originally applied for the position because he wanted to make a difference in the Sioux City community and in the lives of kids. “It’s always good for children to have more than one role model in their lives,” says Ingram. “It’s important to me that I model treating kids equally, even when it’s difficult.”

“I also like being able to teach life skills,” he adds. “It’s not about learning to play basketball; it’s about those smaller building block skills. I like that I can help a child that cannot skip, jump rope, catch a ball or even do a simple sit-up, push-up or jumping jack learn that skill.”

While Ingram says he doesn’t have a bucket list, he does dream of going to Africa one day and exploring as much of the continent as possible.

Now it’s your turn: Where would you like to travel if given the chance?

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