MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Jaron Dobson, a 2014 graduate of Mount Vernon High School, has been named the 2015-16 Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon.
He is a member of the Teen Program at the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon, a junior staff member and also participates in the Poet's Club. Dobson is currently a freshman at Westchester Community College.
"I have been a proud Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon member since I was in the fourth grade in 2005," he said. I was a shy, quiet, kid who wanted a safe place to make new friends and stay out of trouble. I learned many things and had a lot of new experiences at the club. I did not realize it at the time, but the club helped me become the person I am today."
"The most important lessons I learned were respect for myself and others, self-control, and a sense of being comfortable in my own skin," he said. "The club let me be myself and find my own way. What seemed like a lot of new unfamiliar faces quickly become friends and part of my support group. The club made me smile, which is something I did not do a lot of before I came to the club. The club quickly became my home away from home. I was never scared or worried once I walked through the doors. I knew I was safe."
"I stopped coming to the club when I graduated from the sixth-grade. I returned as a teen while in the eleventh grade," Dobson continued. "When they started a Teen Program, I was able to develop my skills as a poet and writer. I was hired for the summer and now serve as a Junior staff member. I feel a debt of gratitude to the club. The club helped me develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. The club had helped me mature into a responsible young man. The staff of the club have really helped me. The club has really helped me so I always want to give back."
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