Keavonte joined the Warren Boys and Girls Club at just 10 years old but eventually stopped going because he felt he was “too old.” Once he moved back to his old neighborhood, he went to sign up his younger sibling at the Centers of Hope at Thomasville Club and was convinced to join himself by a persistent membership clerk.
He recalls, “She told me ‘I wasn’t too old and that I would have fun while earning scholarships.”
That he did. Keavonte joined several programs after only two weeks of attending the Club. His first experience at Thomasville is one of the many reasons he describes the mentors and friends whom he has grown close to as more of an “extended family.” These individuals have provided him with support and encouragement when he need it the most.
“Growing up in a tough neighborhood… it is a blessing to wake up every day due to the violence.”
He continues, “Being at Boys & Girls Club has guided me to new and better choices for my future.”
The programs he’s become involved with include Keystone, College Bound, Passport to Manhood, Robotics, and T-Shirt Club. Within one month of joining, he became the president of Keystone Club – a service and leadership program for teens – and co-leader of the T-Shirt Club. After taking on his new position, he began a campaign to raise money for those affected by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. He also helped develop the Side Kicks program which pairs Keystone teens with younger Club members to act as mentors.
What is clear about this young leader is that he cares deeply about giving back to his community. He is passionate about leading by example and encouraging his peers to get involved.
He is also eagerly researching his post-graduation options. He notes, “College Bound opened my eyes up to all the possibilities I had to go to college and to be what I want in life.” He has narrowed his search down to his top five schools but is now confident he’ll be fine in whatever he chooses.
Keavonte hopes to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology to pursue a career in aerospace engineering and photography.