When Stephanie Soetan first visited the A. Worley Brown Boys & Girls Club eight years ago, she didn’t think she would fit in. But when she entered the Club, Ms. Catrice gave her a big hug, and, in her words, it “felt like family” right away.
Finding family was important to Stephanie, whose parents had divorced. The Club provided stability and support to get through some tough times, including a depression in her sophomore year of high school. Ms. CeCe, another staff member at her Club, had a simple, consistent message that helped Stephanie get through: “I’m here for you.”
With this support, Stephanie began to thrive. She participated in the Marel Brown Creative Writing program, where, through her poetry, she created a testimony to kids who don’t think it’s possible to share their voice.
She fondly recalls participating in the Torch Club service organization for middle school kids. She says it helped her begin to get ready for high school, develop new perspectives on what she wanted out of her life, and serve her community. More recently, she has honed her leadership skills in Keystone, the high school service Club, where was selected as club vice president.
The ambitious 16-year-old wants to help those who feel they don’t have a voice and those who are affected by depression. Her goal is to attend Howard University and major in pre-law. As an adult, she plans to become an attorney and focus on family and divorce law, advocating for children who are involved in the divorce process.
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