Youth of the Year Events 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Siouxland hosted the 2017 Iowa/Nebraska Youth of the Year Competition on March 16-17. Congratulations to KaVon of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa for being selected as the Iowa winner!

The journey to being named National Youth of the Year begins locally and progresses to the state, regional and national levels. To achieve the title of Youth of the Year on any level, Club members must embody the values of leadership and service, academic excellence, and healthy lifestyles. They should exemplify the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people.

On Friday, March 17th, the State Youth of the Year Awards were presented to the young men and women from each state who are going on to compete for the Regional Youth of the Year. Friday’s Keynote Speaker was 2012 National Youth of the Year winner Trei Dudley, a former Club member from Lawrence, Kansas and a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas. By coincidence (and our good fortune), she was coached by our very own Director of Operations, Jen Williams.

In addition to the Youth of the Year competition, the Iowa/Nebraska Area held its Annual Meeting during the two-day event. The Area Council Awards Luncheon was held on Thursday, March 16th and featured a keynote address by the Director of Iowa Workforce Development, Beth Townsend.

Games-O-Rama Tournament

The Games-O-Rama Tournament was held in Dubuque IA this past weekend.  Clubs from around the region (NE, IA, MN, SD, IL) were invited to gather in Dubuque for a friendly competition in various table games, board games and sports activities for individual and team titles. Not only did we have a blast meeting Club kids from other cities, but we also took home this year’s trophy!

Judo Match

Cielos Doenhoeffer won the gold medal at the Loras Junior and Senior Shiai Judo tournament in Dubuque, Iowa on March 11th. Cielos is a long-time Club member and assists his step-father Jason Allen with Judo instruction here at the Club.  Congratulations, Cielos! 

Staff Member Spotlight: Heather Snoozy, Youth Development Staff (YDS) for Arts & Crafts

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Siouxland offers kids in Siouxland many opportunities, from martial arts and fitness to artistic expression and team-building. While its focus is on the children, the benefits extend to everyone who finds themselves in the building, whether they are volunteering, providing administrative support, or teaching a class.

“I was working on my photography degree when I first applied for a job here,” said Heather Snoozy. “I wanted to be able to use my education and experience teaching children, and I was excited to be able to run my own art program.”

Heather, who somehow found a few minutes in her busy day to answer a few of our questions, knows there is so much more to art than pictures or clay or paint. “I use art as a medium of self-expression,” she adds. “I believe it allows us to express true feelings and that it goes deeper than ‘just’ what they are creating. It’s something tangible; when they need a break, they can come in here, do something creative, and distract themselves.”

As busy as our staff is throughout the day, Heather isn’t alone when she says she wishes she could do more. “I don’t like that I can’t do everything,” she says. “Sometimes I wish there was something more I could do to help kids at home or at school or even at the Club. While it would be ideal to ensure every child’s success in life, sometimes the best and only thing I can do is to listen. And sometimes that is enough.”

“Since starting at BGCS, I’ve learned a lot about my expectations for the club, my program, and myself,” continues Snoozy. “I think communication and consistency are key in running an effectively positive program. Both are key elements to future success and staff rapport.”

Heather Snoozy is well on her way to completing a double major in Psychology and Athletic Training. Her bucket list includes bringing two new early learning methods to the Siouxland area and seeing the Northern Lights.

Want to help kids expand their artistic vocabulary? Donate much-needed art supplies here.

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