How your generosity changed a boy’s life

Jose was an angry kid.

The 14-year-old mostly observed life instead of living it. Music was for listening, not playing. Basketball? He just watched his friends run up and down the court. Then again, there weren’t that many friends.

“I was a very anti-social person,” Jose says matter-of-factly. “I was a mess. I did not like who I was.”

 Jose’s life changed when he started hanging out at Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland’s Walton Club on the near West Side. He lost weight, got in shape and now plays basketball for his middle school team. At the Club, he got the chance to take music lessons, play the keyboards and bongos, dance, write rap songs and learn graphic design.

He also visits the Notes for Notes recording studio at the Broadway Club, where he is learning to write and record songs. His behavior, which initially was so poor that he was barred from field trips, has improved so much that he is now perhaps the single most active member of his Club, grabbing every opportunity to learn or do something new.

“I feel like the people here (at the Club) care about me,” Jose says.

Your support allows Jose and about 1,000 other Cleveland kids to walk through our doors each day. Those doors represent more than an entrance to a building – they are the gateways to a great future. You enable kids like Jose to bond with caring adult mentors, receive homework help, make friends, stay safe and engage in a host of healthy, positive activities, including art, music, athletics, career readiness, a daily meal, dance and leadership training.