Niki Brown, Director of Individual Giving, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego
Hannah is ten years old. When the Encanto Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego reopened, she was excited to come back to the friends, leaders, and activities she loved – but she was not excited about the daily fitness challenges. She was nervous about her weight and worried that the other kids might tease her. Coach Marc on the club staff sat with Hannah and asked her to pick the fitness challenges for the week ahead. Hannah said, “I hate running, but I like jump rope!”
Soon, Hannah was teaching the 1st and 2nd graders how to jump rope. Everyone was excited to participate, especially Hannah. When the week was over, Hannah asked if she could pick the fitness challenges again for the following week as well. She continued to plan and participate in the daily fitness challenges and grew to love being active!
Hannah now enjoys so many fun activities at the Club: hula hoop contests, dance offs, basketball drills, and yes, even running. Hannah knows she’s still not the fastest runner, but she said, “Being active gets my body moving and my heart pumping, and that’s exactly what I needed. I love the daily fitness challenges and I can’t wait to create my own games.”
Her dedication to being active led Hannah to become the youth of the month at the Encanto Branch. She is currently the fitness ambassador and welcomes new members to participate in “Hannah’s Boot Camp.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego creates safe spaces and opens doors of opportunity for young people to explore their interests and develop healthy habits early in life.
Each year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego hosts the Little Jumps Big Changes campaign, which is focused on raising funds to support Healthy Lifestyles programs at 20 Club sites throughout San Diego County. Healthy Lifestyles programs include cooking classes and gardening, team sports and athletics, yoga and mental health practices, team building, and sportsmanship.
*Club member’s name has been changed to protect their privacy.