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YOY Creates Lifelong Bonds
Posted 06/09/2018 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Youth Voice

Last month I was recharged and totally rejuvenated by 3 of the most phenomenal people I’m blessed to have in my life, MY SISTERS!!

Although biologically I’m an only child, spiritually I’m not. I have blood siblings that fill me up!

On May 29th Abria (2016-17 MW YOY) graduated from high school and was chosen as the student graduation speaker over the valedictorian! So, you already know we had to make a trip! Myself, Jocelyn (2016-17 NYOY), and Raliyah (2016-17 SE YOY) all traveled to Michigan for our first time. We saw the “beach,” ate some great meals, and most importantly had the quality time that we all needed and so yearned for. We’re officially about to be two years out of YOY and it seems our travels have dwindled down. But that’s why we’re making it a priority to see each other in a new place once a year at minimum.

I know most people think the “friends” we meet throughout YOY are only for those few days because of convenience, but in reality, through these experiences with Boys & Girls Clubs we are in environments that foster lifelong bonds simply because we’re Club kids. I’ve never met people that understand me, recognize and cultivate my greatness, and are simply just there for me the way my sisters are.

We like to say this bond is God sent.

Understand that in life we need each other. While some relationships can be toxic, in some that codependency will be what you need to carry you through a hard day.  Here’s a quick glimpse into a small trip with the people who have carried me since I’ve met them!


Here’s my sisters at a cute little brunch spot in Michigan, this was one of our first days there!
So we spent some time on a fire escape (haha), here’s a shot Jocelyn caught of me!
OUR BODYGUARD!! This is Kyle, he’s been Abria’s chaperone on every trip we’ve been on since the beginning. He came to be known as our bodyguard, here’s us at the “beach” in Michigan.
One thing we did a lot during our year as YOYs was late nights! For a lot of reasons, either study scripts or just trying to soak up as much time with each other as possible. So we did it all over again! Jocelyn was leaving at 6am the next morning so we pulled an all nighter!
Here’s another shot of us doing our favorite thing, BRUNCH-ING!
Raliyah and Kyle walking on the beach!
Here’s a mini photoshoot we did outside of Abria’s Club! This was also followed by a barbecue all of the Michigan Clubs threw welcoming us and an impromptu basketball game that got pretty intense!
And finally our beautiful graduate!


On our last night together on this trip, we relished in the fact that our bond is the greatest gift we’ve gotten from YOY. I never knew that I would meet people that understand and relate to me in such a way. These are the people I call when I’m upset and crying, or just having a hard week. These are the people whose advice I value more than anything because I know they see me for who I am. These are the people who praise me and push me for greater. I love them. In every experience you have from now on, value the people you are surrounded by even if for only a short time because they just might be your best friends. Love others and be loved, it’ll recharge your spirit the same way these girls recharge me. Thank you to BGCA, and to my phenomenal sisters. We’ll catch you guys on our next trip!


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