Club nurtures this girl’s love of music

Jakayla Douglas

Jakayla Douglas counts them down, one by one.

“Clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, piano and violin,” she says with a smile.

Music is a big part of Jakayla’s life, and the sixth-grader had already learned to play more instruments than most of us ever will. She discovered her love of music five years ago at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland (BGCC). Today, Jakayla, 11, who attends the Broadway Club, is one of the stars of the band program.

“I love the club – it is probably my favorite place,” she says. “I wouldn’t even know what a clarinet, or any other instrument, was if it wasn’t for the club. Coming here every day means a lot to me.”

Matt Bott, arts coordinator for BGCC, says the generous support of donors has helped expose dozens of underserved youths like Jakayla to the arts and music. “I love being in the band,” Jakayla says. “Mr. Matt has taught me a lot. Now I play a little bit of everything.”