“At age six, I was bullied. I did not look or speak like other kids in school. I was four feet four inches tall, weighed 40 pounds, and had a terrible and noticeable stutter. I was the kid that did not fit in with anyone.
I had many family difficulties as well, and at age 13 I was kicked out of my home after I found the courage to come out as gay. I was unprepared to deal with being cast out at that age by my family and friends and I was lost. I had nothing. However, the Boys & Girls Club gave me a place of safety, love, and acceptance. Boys & Girls Club staff greeted me with open arms, lifted me up, and made sure I could become the strongest version of me.
The Boys & Girls Club has taught me great resiliency, self-confidence, and gratitude. Resiliency for when times are hard, knowing I have the strength to get through. Self-confidence as I learn to accept and take care of myself, and gratitude for learning to put others before myself. Today, I volunteer more than 100 hours each year, showing me that giving without expecting anything in return is always the best way to help my community and to make me happy.”
Congratulations to Travis Thor, the Boys & Girls Club’s 2017-2018 Youth of the Year. An accomplished young man, Travis has more than 10 years’ experience as a Boys & Girls Club member. He is a junior at the Renaissance School for the Arts in Appleton, excelling in in a myriad of classes. In addition to his studies, Travis gives many hours of volunteer tutoring and mentoring at the Boys & Girls Club of Wilson Middle School and other non-profits, and takes part in many school clubs, athletics, and arts afterschool programs. Travis also loves math and says the Boys & Girls Club “Money Smarts” program has helped him gain math and money management skills. By taking part in band, chorus, orchestra, drama, and dance, Travis is preparing for a degree in the performing arts.
“I can show the younger generation that no matter who you are and whatever you want to be, you can always do it – just by being you. This realization would have never come to me without the help and support of the Boys & Girls Club.”