2016 Youth of the Year - Isabel McLeod
"First, let me start by saying how honored I am to have the opportunity to be Youth of the Year. I grew up in Joyce, Washington, a very small town, whose population you can’t even find online. My class only had 4-5 other girls in it at a time, so I never had much experience making friends. When I moved to Fond du Lac in the end of 2nd grade making friends wasn’t the easiest, but the year after I’d heard about the Boys and Girls Club and how many kids and activities were there and I asked to join. When my mom found out how much I enjoyed it she signed my brother up as soon as 1st grade started. It was helpful for my family too because they wouldn’t have to watch us as kids while my mother was working. The Boys and Girls Club was always an escape from any silly fights I’d gotten into with my mother or brother, and a place to go to be entertained and have fun."
"At Club I am usually involved in Cooking Club, Go Green, and Club Ambassadors. I enjoyed Cooking Club because of the different opportunities to learn about foods around the world and ways to reuse different items and learn skills that benefit us and the Earth. I am a Junior Staff at our Club as well, which is very enjoyable because there are many people that make my day better there. I also like that it is preparing me for what it will be like to get and succeed in a job after I am done at the Club."
Isabel's Personal Brand
"In addition to the club helping me when I was younger, the Club had also helped me when I was trying to develop my personal brand. I came up with “Shoot for better”, mainly because of the Club’s own brand. They’ve helped me grow throughout the most important years of my development, and gaining knowledge for the life ahead of me, so it makes sense that my brand would stem from the Club. Furthermore, my brand stands for equal treatment to all students and equal opportunities. Over the years, I’ve seen schools draw more attention to athletics than the arts and other extracurriculars. Every student needs a place to fit in, and by neglecting where they feel like they do can make them feel insignificant. All students should feel like they have people who believe in them and want to see them succeed in what they enjoy."
Vision for the Future
"Personally, my future plans would be to do something in the medical field. Recently, I have been looking at what it takes to be a military surgeon, and the Boys and Girls Club giving me this opportunity will definitely help me take giant bounds towards anything like that. The Boys and Girls Club is also a great leadership opportunity, giving me another head start. My goals for myself might seem too high to some but with the help of places like the Boys and Girls Club and the places they’re taking me it will be attainable. I love being able to help people continue to live after anything major or minor they bump into, and helping them live a full life."
"In conclusion, the Boys and Girls Club has given me many things to be thankful for and look forward to. I am very fortunate to be living the life that I am and to have the Club with me. When first applying for Youth of the Year, the teen center director would take me into his office during the last thirty minutes of my shift and help me answer the initial questions. I am extremely grateful for the help of the staff at the Boys and Girls Club for getting me to this point and being extremely supportive and helpful. I wouldn’t have even applied for Youth of the Year if it weren’t for those staff, and their continued support and pushing me to apply is what motivates me to do my best and succeed in this process. All in all, the Boys and Girls Club will be the place that has held the most influence on me and the place I will remember and be grateful for always."