CHARACTER & LEADERSHIP
Helping youth become responsible, caring citizens and acquire skills for participating in the democratic process is the main thrust of these programs. They also develop leadership skills and provide opportunities for planning, decision-making, contributing to Club and community and celebrating our national heritage.
Jeff Mattingly Foundation
Youth of The Year
Club members who earn the youth of the Year title embody the values of leadership service; academic excellence; and healthy lifestyles. Open to Club members who are juniors and seniors in High School.
Congratulations are in order for Jaden Appling, our 2021 Jeff Mattingly Youth of the Year! Jaden, 16, joined the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County two years ago as one of our teen members. She has already experienced immense difficulties in her life, but says that the Club brought a light that she has needed for a long time. Jaden quickly took advantage of the different programs offered at the Club and got involved with as many as she could.
Jaden’s real passion is to serve others. She can typically be found in the Club mentoring our younger youth or helping Tammy LaMere, Front Desk Manager. “Jaden is an outstanding young lady. She is very mature for her age. Jaden cares a lot for people and loves to help out where ever she can,” says Tammy.
This unique leadership development experience provides opportunities for club teens. Youth participate, both in and out of the Club, in activities in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation and community service. With the guidance of an adult advisor, Keystone Clubs aim to have a positive impact on members, the Club and community.
Club members are paired with peer or adult mentors to positively affect their lives.
Jaden hopes to devote her life to showing other young people that no matter what you are going through or have gone through, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams. Anything is possible with a little hard work, self-confidence, and determination.
“My grandparents took on three kids with no warning, and no parents around to help. The amount of care, support and love I have received from the Club is immeasurable. When my grandparents could not get my sister's and I clothes or when there wasn't enough food in the cabinets all I had to do was ask, and the Club took care of us. The Club gives me hope, for myself, my sisters, and for our future. Even through the pandemic,” Jaden says.