Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County Alumni
THEIR GREAT FUTURES STARTED HERE
Where are they now?
There are 16 million Boys & Girls Club alumni all over the world.
From award-winning actors and professional athletes to community and business leaders and college students, Club alumni come from all walks of life but share a common bond through their Club Experience. Here are some stories about Alumni that are close to our hearts!
Are you an alumnus? Share your story.
Former Club Member at the Wogan S. Badcock Unit
The Boys & Girls Club is a place where hope and opportunities arise for success. Ms. Ja’Net Glover, a former Boys & Girls Club staff member, at the age of 16 years old has blossomed in to a successful young lady. Ja’Net is the Director of Student Services at the University of Florida which is ranked second in the United States among colleges and universities career service centers. One thing for sure, the Boys & Girls Club brings out the talents in young people like Ja’Net Glover. She was part of the history of the Wogan S. Badcock Jr. Boys & Girls Club of Mulberry, when it opened its doors in 1997 on the campus of Purcell Elementary School. Ja’Net was recognized for her organization skills as a volunteer and was hired as a part time staff responsible for planning fun activities, summer field trips, scheduling guest speakers, and planning annual events such as Thanksgiving Dinner for club members and their families. Ja’Net stated “The Boys & Girls Club created a space for me. I developed as a leader and the staff became a part of my family. The Unit Director, would always tell Ja’Net, “I can see you one day as a CEO of a company”. The Boys & Girls Club slogan Where Great Futures Start Here, is a true testimony for this phenomenal young lady who kept her eyes on the prize to become successful. Denzel Washington a former Boys and Girls Club member and a spokesman for Boys & Girls Club of America once said “Don’t just aspire to make a living, aspire to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.”
Former Club Member at the Wogan S. Badcock Jr. Unit
My legacy is Love & #icanchangeyourlife
I remember attending the Boys & Girls Club mostly in the summer months when I was a teenager. I’m 36 years old now. I loved being able to see my friends every day at camp. We played games, went on trips, did arts, and crafts, and spent time eating lunch together every day. I have great memories at the Boys & Girls Club of Mulberry. When I lived in the area as an adult my son attended the camp too. He made a ton of friends and created some of the same memories that we now have in common. His favorite activity was playing dodgeball! JaVettt Love is your Mrs. Florida Plus America 2020/21. My Platform is Community Leadership with a focus on Health, Education, Finance & Networking. I will compete at my national pageant later this month to represent Florida and bring home another crown to our community. In May 2021, I was presented with a Proclamation for my platform, pageant title, community impact, and my legacy in addition to being featured on major podcasts as “She Who Wears the Crown.” I am an employee with State Farm Insurance during the day, own and work a legacy business in the evenings with my husband & our global team that was featured in two international magazines in 2021. We love to help ordinary people live extraordinary lifestyles. Currently, I’m a walking ambassador for 3 national nonprofit organizations as well as a Leadership Giver with United Way of Central Florida which is partnered with our local Boys & Girls Clubs. Lastly, I’m a new author of a new book that is being released this fall (More to come), a recent Cornell University Women’s Entrepreneurship Graduate, a Success Coach, and social media & Travel Influencer. My Legacy is Love & #icanchangeyourlife
“Beginning of something BIG gives you hope and a chance to pursue your dreams.” That quote is from Bryana Bryant, a former Club member and Youth of the Year, crediting the Wogan S. Badcock Jr.Boys & Girls Club of Polk County for her acting and modeling career. Jennifer Lopez, a former Boys & Girls Club alumni, once said “you get what you give. What you put into things is what you get out of them”. Bryanna applied that and has stated that “The Boys & Girls Club has made a major impact on my life and I will be forever grateful for the experiences I had in the program.” Bryana attended the Wogan S. Badcock Jr. Unit on the campus of Purcell Elementary School in Mulberry, Florida. It was a space to grow, learn, bond, and connect with the community. As Bryana grew older, she cherished the friendships and the opportunities to grow as an individual. She won the organization’s Youth of the Year, award, which is a premier national program. For Bryana, It came full circle, obtaining her job at Publix Super Market, which is also a proud supporter of United Way of Central Florida. As an employee, Bryana continues to invest monthly, to support this proud organization. Bryana remembers a trip to Puerto Rico, where she enjoyed activities, such as kayaking for the first time and meeting with local Boys & Girls Club members there. Bryana had fond memories cooking and feeding the homeless in another culture. She still communicates with a few of the former members of the Boys & Girls Club in Puerto Rico. Bryana embarked in a career with Acting/Modeling; doing local Photoshoots, Fashion Week Runway shows, and commercials for brands like Publix, Spectrum, Nike and Denny’s. Bryana stated “I am happy to say I’ve used my experiences to set-up workshops at my local Boys & Girls Club. It has been very fulfilling and I aspire to continue give back to my community.”
The time I spent at the Boys & Girls Club made a huge impact on my life. If it wasn’t home, school, or church it was spending time at the club. The club was like a home away from home. Of course, as a kid, it felt like it was just a big playground. Walking through those doors it felt like you could do whatever you wanted to do, though that wasn’t the case. It was much deeper than that. It was a safe place from the chaos and carelessness in the streets of Inwood/Winter Haven. It was a place where I learned how to play basketball and pool, the true meaning of friendship and leadership. I also learned about the fun that comes with swimming and skating, I learned creativity, through trashcan basketball and even building sandcastles. I believe it was the first time that I experienced the importance of listening and learning from others. My biggest takeaway from the Boys & Girls Club was the Pride Talks. Past club members would come and share their experiences and I just remember screaming from the top of my lungs, “I am somebody, I can be anything.” This has helped me be a better person and has given me confidence as I go through life. Since being a club member, I have recognized that you can never forget where you’ve come from. I graduated from The University of South Florida with my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, along with my Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University. I am also co-host of a podcast with two friends. On a professional level, I work for The Salvation Army Florida Headquarters. I am a Young Adults and Mission Program Specialist. I get to mentor young adults throughout the state of Florida and organize and lead mission trips for young people across the world. It’s pretty cool to travel and connect with people for work. I have had the privilege and opportunity to visit over a dozen countries as I continue to learn more about the world that we get to enjoy together. Witnessing what the outcome has been for some of the friends who didn’t attend the club, I am sure I could be down the same path without the positive influences that made a difference in my life.
Former Club Member at the George Jenkins Memorial Unit
“I will never forget where I came from!”
Dr. Shandale Terrell
Former Club Member at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lakeland
“The staff helped me enhance my mind to think positively about myself…”
I was a member of the Boys and Girls club for about eight years. I joined the club when I was in 4th grade and ever since, have remained a part of it. I joined the club because I am an only child and my mom, who didn’t want me to be alone, couldn’t find an after-school care facility that fit her needs. At first I was uneasy. It seemed very scandalous to me, because when I was smaller, we heard rumors like; “Oh Boys and Girls Clubs are for bad kids.” However, one of the things I’ve learned, is that you can never trust what people say unless you experience it.After three weeks, the Boys and Girls Club became a second home to me and the staff were just like parents away from home. The teen group was more like older siblings that help lead you in the right direction. Even though I grew up with no father in my life, Mr. John has always been there for me and though I do not see him as a father, I do always go to him for advice and questions, for which I am very grateful.Thanks to the Boys and Girls Club, I got my homework done and cared more about academics. The club even helped with volunteer hours, when I was in NJHS. I became student council Vice-President in high school, a proud member of the National Society of High School Scholars and a Sliver Garland nominee.As a result of my work with the club, I logged over 458 community service hours. During my freshman year of high school, I played football and was rarely at the club. I noticed that when I wasn’t there, my grades dropped and I got one “C”. Then, when Mr. John offered me a job, I accepted and began getting A’s and B’s again with no problem. I want to say thank you to everyone who believed in me and thank you to everyone who is helping these kids every day.I am currently a sophomore in college, studying Political Science. After finishing my degree I plan to attend Law School. I have been active in my community, by joining protests, hosting town halls, talking to city leaders, and also introducing the younger generation to influential people in the city, including individuals from the police department, the NAACP, as well as prominent attorneys. I’m hopeful that the insights gained as a result of these activities will help me in politics, when I run for Governor of the State of Florida!
“The Boys & Girls Clubs are impacting the lives of those kids, that need us the most.” So says Cedrick Minick, who is an alumni of the Wogan S. Badcock Jr. Boys & Girls Club of Polk County, where he was a former Youth of the Year award winner. Cedrick joined the club after moving to Florida from Chicago. During his time in the club, Cedrick learned the importance of being a good person, modeling behaviors which helped him to become a great leader and volunteer. He has become a sought after speaker, who graciously campaigns for our organization’s fundraising events. Cedrick truly exhibits his love of working hard, in order to be a positive influence with kids in his community. Cedrick is employed by Publix Super Market in the Customer Care and Social Media Departments. Cedrick stated that the, “Boys & Girls Club is still my home away from home, whether I’m involved with a United Way Campaign to give back, or if I’m spending time playing kickball on a Thursday afternoon with the kids at the club. I want to insure that the Boys & Girls Clubs remain a positive place for kids.” Cedrick is a remarkable young man that we are very proud of, setting a fine example of being a caring, productive, responsible citizen, honoring the Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County where Great Futures are made possible!
Little did I know, that when I went to the Boys & Girls Club in Winter Haven as a volunteer for community service hours, that I would actually earn my job. I was excited by the prospect of having a real job at the age of 14, but was especially thrilled to become a staff member at a Boys & Girls Club! My experience at the Boys & Girls Club was like no other experience in my life up to that point. From the spring and summer camps, to meeting new people from all walks of life, and most importantly learning how to become a leader; I was truly changed. I was surrounded by capable leaders that prepared me for many of my life experiences. And to this day that leadership that was instilled in me, helps me to be the person I have become. At this point of my life I’m so proud of myself and how far I have come. I am currently a mother and a licensed Practical Nurse, pursuing further education to become an Registered Nurse. As a Lead Nurse I have the responsibility of leading a great team of nurses and AMAs as we care for the people we serve. Through all I have been through and endured, I truly look back upon my Boys & Girls Club experience and appreciate how it help to nurture me and enable me to grow into the woman I have become today!
My experiences growing up at the Boys and Girls Club (The Club) are my fondest and most cherished memories. Without the foundation provided by The Club, there is no telling the path my life would have taken. But I doubt it would have been as fruitful as it has been. Like many, my single mother household lacked adequate resources but because of The Club I was able to participate in organized sports, experience horseback riding, Spring Break camp with friends, and most importantly build friendships and bonds that are still intact today, some 30 years later. Above all, The Club provided my first male role models. Role models who believed in me loved me, and encouraged me to overcome my circumstances. The Club embraces those kids who the world typically ignores. By being embraced at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, I was able to become the first in my family to graduate with a college degree, build a professional career that has allowed me to live in different parts of the country, and be a father that’s able to provide a foundation for my daughter leaps and bounds stronger than my own. I’m forever grateful I was able to grow up as a member of the Boys and Girls Club and the blessing it’s been to my life.
Former Club Member at the George Jenkins Memorial Unit
“I was taught on a daily basis that I could be anything I wanted to be and I am forever grateful for everything I learned there!”
Former Club Member at the George Jenkins Memorial Unit
Former Club Member at the North Ridge Unit
“The bond & knowledge that I’ve learned is indescribable…”