For Nicholas Foley, a 10-year member of Sarah Heinz House Boys & Girls Club in Pittsburgh, early memories in life in Boston include domestic fighting between his parents and living in a shelter with his mother. After school one day when he was 6, Nicholas’s mother didn’t come to pick him up. He was quickly placed in the foster care system and bounced around from home to home. That was, until his aunt and her partner took him from Boston to live with them in Pittsburgh and eventually adopted him in 2002. It was his aunt that introduced him to the Boys & Girls Club.
"My Club is the most amazing thing I have ever been a part of. Since the first time I saw the place, I knew it was where I belonged."
Nicholas has truly taken advantage of everything the Club has to offer. He excelled at athletic programs while being a shining example of sportsmanship. As a teen, he became a leader in the Club as a Junior Staffer. He has also participated on the robotics team, in the music program, and on the dance team. Nicholas also works as a counselor at the Boys & Girls Club’s summer resident camp.
Nicholas is currently the president of his Boys & Girls Club’s Keystone Club, a program that emphasizes leadership and community service. To date, he has logged over 1,500 hours of giving back to his community. These activities have included collecting items for a Pittsburgh resident who lost everything in a fire, to organizing a Christmas toy drive for kids who lost a parent.
Nicholas enters his senior year at Taylor Allderdice High School this fall, a school he selected to attend based on its pre-engineering programs. Upon graduation in 2012, Nicholas plans to enter Pennsylvania State University to become a civil engineer.
Foley’s fellow 2011 Youth of the Year finalists were: DeShaun Bennett from Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas, Tamika Mallett from Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana, Darnisha Victorain from Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County (Idaho), and Ahkeem Hollimon of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
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