November 5, 2019
Program Spotlight: Boys and Girls Club of Augusta
The following account was provided by the Boys and Girls Club of Augusta, a United Way partner. Your United Way donations support this program.
The Club had a young teen referred to our Alternative to Suspension (A2S) program for behavioral issues. In conversations with those involved with her, it was discovered that her parents had trouble with drugs and alcohol and had previously been reported for elements of abuse and neglect. Although this part of her life was being figured out, her current behaviors reflected many of the things that she had probably seen at home and was the likely cause of most of her anger/ behavioral issues.
In the A2S program, we helped her to identify her strengths and helped her to understand there were better choices for dealing with her anger. We did this with coaching questions that helped in learning positive conflict resolution skills. Some of the questions were, “Why was the other person upset?”, “What are some better ways of dealing with this conflict?” and “What are other ways of dealing with the issue at hand without promoting further conflict?” These questions were meant to help her to understand not only why her behavior needed change, but to also learn how to think through future situations and make better choices. We emphasized that life is full of challenges and that this was not the last challenge that she would deal with. The key is to know how to deal with those challenges as they happen.
Beyond her time in the A2S program, we encouraged her to find positive people to surround herself with. This involved convincing her to join our after-school program where she could continue to develop her behavioral and social skills. She has become a regular member in the kitchen, often volunteering to help staff and other teens.
Her behaviors no longer include the anger and behavioral issues she had previously. She also regularly helps in showing other teens why it is important to make good choices and how to make that change. In her time here, she has become a true leader at the club and with her peers outside of their time here. In a recent conversation with her, we asked about her experiences with the club. Her response helped us all remember why we are here and how we are helping these teens.
She simply responded with, “This is where I grew up!”
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