Abigail chose to be featured in the music room because she is learning violin and it is her favorite place in the Club.
Herbert (Trimet employee), Anne (Caregiver), Abigail (10 years), Eugene (7 years old)
Regence Boys & Girls Club Club
Would one of you like to introduce yourselves?
Abigail: I will. I’m Abigail, this is Eugene, he’s Herbert, and she’s Anne and we were all born from Kenya. In Nairobi.
I am happy to have this family because they encourage me to do things I’ve never done before and they support me in everything I do.
So we moved to America 3 years ago and the first place we went was New York and we went to a hotel then after we went to Boston. It’s freezing in Boston and we could barely go outside. And then in the summer it was so hot that we could barely go outside.
Then we came here. I’m so happy because it’s a place that’s not cold or too warm, it’s just perfect.
That was a really good introduction, thank you! How long have you guys been going to the Boys & Girls Club?
Herbert: 1.5 years. In Massachusetts we were on the waiting list for 2 years to join the Boys & Girls Club. And when we enrolled here the school said “Okay now go down to the Boys & Girls Club and enroll” and we said, “You mean get on the waiting list?” and she said, “No, go there and enroll and start today.”
We thought that was amazing. So we came and enrolled and they told us that they closed at 7. I remember we looked at each other and we said “This is perfect!” Because I was going to be a student and she had work, so we were concerned about the schedules clashing. But the fact that the Boys & Girls Club would have them here until 7 made work life for her easier and school life for me a lot easier.
BGC and Rosa parks made settling in Oregon so much easier than we had even expected.
How has the Club impacted your family?
Herbert: This little guy (Eugene), when he came to America was a shy, quiet, behind the scenes guy. Then when he came to the Club he is a celebrity, he’s winning awards every other month.
Anne: He has so many friends now.
Herbert: He went to Disneyland. How old was he, 7? He was 7 when he went to Disney. He’s really grown a lot here at Boys & Girls Club.
Abigail on the other hand, she’s done everything. She’s met the American Women’s Soccer Team, she has a twin there, Abigail.
Eugene, tell me a little bit about how you got to go to Disneyland?
Eugene: I was good. You have to be good to get in the drawing to go to Disneyland. I was kind and respectful.
What was it like?
Eugene: It was like Disney turned to real life.
Abigail: Oh! Like when we used to watch the Disney channel, he felt like Disney was alive.
Eugene: we went on some roller coasters and went upside down. And I got a driver’s license to drive in Disney.
Abigail and Eugene, why do you two like the Boys & Girls Club?
Abigail: It’s better than being lazy at home, watching TV. Meeting new friends is a really good way to communicate with people. Ever since I started coming to the Boys & Girls Club people keep asking to be my friend and I’m like sure! It’s a better way to communicate.
Eugene: When I first came here I got 4 friends and I play with them a lot. And they cheer me up.
Describe the Club in one word.
Herbert: It’s been blessing. It’s been a blessing all around. The kids have grown, they’ve won awards, and they’ve gotten a lot of recognition for volunteering, leadership, and education. The staff here have really helped because English is a second language and they’ve really helped with their reading and assignments. So not only do they get to play and have fun, they also do some reading and homework and help them understand the importance of balancing all of these.
Abigail: My word for it is fun.
Eugene: This is why we came to the Boys & Girls Club. It’s because my mom and dad had to go to work and they didn’t have anyone to take care of us so they looked for a Boys & Girls Club.
Herbert: Can I talk about that?
Herbert: When we were in Boston, in order to get them babysitters, it cost $430 a week. So when Anne came to Boston I had two jobs. Because of the income not being sufficient, we opted for her to stay home with Eugene and I continued with my two jobs.
But here, we’ve both been able to work and not have to worry about the kids and someone to take care of them.
How has the Club helped your kids grow?
Herbert: The growth has been amazing.
The potential we’ve seen in them already is just unbelievable. We hope they continue doing this all the way through high school. I would love for you guys to go all the way with this.
Anything you’d like to add?
Anne: As a family we are grateful for having a Club like this. It’s one we look forward to our kids going to and it’s affordable. I would encourage anyone with kids to just join instead of staying home and doing nothing. It’s better if they come and socialize with other kids, get to do homework, get to do other clubs. It keeps them busy.
Awesome. Abigail? Eugene?
Abigail: One thing I want to tell you is that when my mom was running, she hurt her knee and after I was dreaming about her running again after a while. I used to think of her running, like she was an African runner. I hope my mom is still gonna do that every day of my life.
Anne: You want me to start running again?
Abigail: I wanna jog with you every day.
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