Boys & Girls Club Blog

Graduation Season

Graduation–one of my absolute favorite times of the year. To me, what graduation signifies is the beginning of the next chapter in the lives of the youth that I have worked with over the years. It means they are starting their adult lives, whether in the workforce, at a university, or in the military. They are moving on and they are moving up. They’ve made it!

For me, it’s a time to reflect on the years and experiences I’ve had the honor of sharing with those individuals during their time at the Club.  Some memories are happy ones; time spent at Camp Radford when they were young, taking field trips, being there for their “firsts,” such as the first time they went fishing or traveled on an airplane.

Other memories are a bit more difficult, such as when they had a bad situation at home or lost a loved one. As we look back now, I hope each and every one of the teens who crossed that stage realize all that they have overcome and all of the ways that they are resilient.

In the end, what I’ve learned is that in both the good and bad moments, there is a family-like bond that develops at the Club. It’s all of those moments that make me realize how wonderful this “job” that I have really is, because it gives me the opportunity to get to know so many amazing individuals. To watch them grow up into exceptional people.

I’m thankful that I get to become a support system to so many of them and I love when they reach back to me as they grow up to share their important life moments, like when they receive awards, figure out their true calling, become engaged or decide to start a family, when they land that exciting job that will jumpstart the career of their dreams, whatever it may be, I love that they care about me enough to reach back.

As I think about each of the former teens that have now graduated, I want to wish them the best. I want them to know that I have enjoyed my time with them (whether that be for all 13 of their school years or maybe just a summer spent out on field trips), and I look forward to reading and hearing about the good that they put into this world in their future. I hope that they reach back to let me know where life takes them.

By: Tiffanie Bolling, Teen Center Director