Meet Dyonna Singleton! She is the program director of the
3rd Street Boy’s and Girls Club. She is so very passionate about the kids she
serves and that stems from a deep love of the organization. Dyonna was a
club kid herself and this past experience has shaped her enthusiasm and
drive in what she does. I sat down to interview Dyonna about her experience
with Boys and Girls Club and the following is what she had to say.
Kelsey Rae (K-Rae): Who is the typical Boys and Girls Club member you see today?
Dyonna (D): Our typical kid is living in low poverty with a single-parent and multiple siblings. In the 3rd Street club we see more African American and Hispanic kids.
K-Rae: Tell me a bit about the numbers of children served and the locationsof your MorganCounty Clubs.
D: Well we have three locations in Morgan County that we operate out of. The first is the 3rd Street location. This is the club that I run and it has about 60-65 kids on the roster so far. Next is our Oak Park location which is our newest, and it sees about 65-70 kids. Lastly, is our Priceville location. This is our more rural club and it is more geared towards reaching kids in the county. It sees about 75 kids and it is always at maximum capacity.
K-Rae:I understand that you were a Boys and Girls Club member as a child. How old were youwhenyou first became a member, and why did you join?
D: I was four years old and I was a member because at the time my mother was employed as the club director. I joined because she was there already and could keep an eye on me.
K-Rae:Have the activities available for today’s members changed since then?
D: Not really. The base programs have always stayed the same. They may have changed the name or added more effective ways to implement them with technology, but the concept is the same. Why mess with perfection?
K-Rae:What are your goals for the children that participate?
D: We like to make sure that we are providing our kids with skills and activities they can’t get anywhere else. There’s a lot of different programs in Decatur and we strive to give our kids something special. Our goal is to make sure that the kids are being enriched in every aspect of their lives. We hope that every day they’re gaining something.
K-Rae:How does your experience as a member impact your work? Your life?
D: I know what the kids are going through. Being able to relate to them is my number one asset. When they’re bored, I understand them being bored. When they’re excited, I understand their excitement. I understand every aspect of being a child involved in Boys and Girls Club. It’s not always fun. You have to run certain programs and do certain groups to help them grow in their studies and their character development. Theydon’t always get to do what they want to do. I recognize that mindset of “this isn’t what we want to do. We just want to have fun.”Iunderstand what they’re feeling and I can relate because I’ve been there and done that.
K-Rae:Anything else you’d like to share?
D: For me I’m just happy I had the experience. I’ll never regret being in Boys and Girls Club. It afforded me a lot of opportunities that I might not have had growing up. I was raised in a single-parent home so there’s many things that I might not have had or been able to do if it wasn’t for Boys and Girls Club. I’m definitely blessed to have been a member, and to come back and work for this organization has been amazing. It just makes me happy!
After hearng her passion for the kids she serves, it is obvious that the 3rd Street CLub is in very capable hands. We, here at United Way, are so proud that our partner programs make such lasting impacts on people's lives. We are better together than we are apart. That's why we LIVE UNITED!
United Way, along with our 30 partners, fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person right here in Morgan County.
When you support United Way of Morgan County through your workplace campaign or through a corporate or individual gift, you are helping the most vulnerable among us…the young, the old, the sick, and the poor as well as those affected by both man-made and natural disasters. Those people are your neighbors, your co-workers, your family members, and your friends.
United, we can win the fight! Won’t you join us?! www.uwmcal.org