A change in attitude yields positive results

Shamar Smith

Everyone, it seems, knew of Shamar Smith – but for all the wrong reasons.

“Attitude, talking about people, getting suspended from school, cursing, fighting – all of that,” says Shamar, 13, looking off into the distance. It is as if he’s talking about another person.

There was a growing fear among teachers, police, counselors and others that Shamar “might not make it to see his adult years, based on his behavior,” says Roscoe Morgan, area director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.

That was one year ago. It was then that Shamar – bad attitude intact – joined the BGCC. Almost immediately, his behavior caught the attention of East Cleveland Boys & Girls Club staff members. “(They) talked to me about the way I was acting and told me not to be like everyone else, to be my own person,” Shamar says. “And I wanted to be my own person.”

Since then, Shamar’s behavior has changed for the better. He is staying clear of trouble and listening instead of arguing. “Before I had a big attitude, very disrespectful. Now I just do it,” he says.

Shamar’s improved attitude has helped him on the playing field – he participates in basketball, baseball and track – and in the kitchen, where he proved to be one of the stars of the Club’s cooking classes. People have noticed.

“Shamar has done a complete 180 since joining the Club, and we are very proud of him,” says Danielle Ware, East Cleveland’s interim Club director. “He went from a boy starting trouble to now being the one who resolves trouble. We see great things for Shamar and are excited that he is one of our members.”