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.
We are excited to announce our 2023 Jeff Mattingly Foundation Youth of the Year is Eli Kelly! Eli is a senior at Benton High School and plans to attend the University of Arkansas in the Fall. Eli has worked for the Riverside Club for 3 years and has been a part of our Club family since he was little.
Club members are paired with peer or adult mentors to positively affect their lives.
Eli remembers, "the first time I received my “Staff Shirt”, it was yellow and it said Staff on the back. I thought I was big stuff. I was 4 years old walking around with my staff radio shadowing the Program Director. Little did I know at that early age, the Club and everything it stood for, was my home away from home.
I have spent many hours, days, months, and years playing sports, participating in after-school and summer programs, mentoring new members as a Junior Staff, refereeing countless games, and now working as a youth development professional. The fact is, the Club has been a part of me for nearly all of my life…it’s in my DNA so to speak.
Being the Jeff Mattingly Foundation Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County will help me maximize my opportunities to advocate and serve the children in Saline County and, most importantly, the Club. It is my way of being able to repay the Club for everything it has given me. "