“When I first started working here, I found it challenging because I was always the kid who didn’t want to be buckled down to the school work. We really work on the positive reinforcement a ton. We learn different things we can do with them to get them excited.”
— Kadi Scott, the Boys & Girls Club of Craig’s 2011 Youth of the Year award winner, on helping children balance schoolwork and being active
Taking the bus home from grade school, Kadi Scott said she remembers fellow students getting dropped off at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig.
With an older brother at home, Scott said she never felt the need to go to the club.
Three years ago, however, Scott finally stepped inside the Boys & Girls Club, but for a different reason.
She went there to help children.
“I never came to the club when I was younger because I thought it was a babysitter,” she said. “But, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, so I thought this would be a fun first job to be around kids and learn about kids.”
Her contributions to the club haven’t gotten unnoticed.
Today, Scott will be awarded the Boys & Girls Club of Craig’s 2011 Youth of the Year award, an honor she also won last year.
Club executive director Dana Duran said Scott was one of three young volunteers who were selected to write an essay and present a two-minute speech in front of a three-person panel consisting of Audrey Danner, Irene Kitzman and Lindsey Lampert.
While the panel ultimately made the decision, Duran said Scott demonstrates numerous characteristics that make her a great volunteer.
“I think Kadi stood out because of her poise and because of her confidence,” Duran said. “Kadi is a strong leader and she is fun to be around, she is confident about who she is and has a real zest for life. She is excited about new challenges and likes to help other people.
“I think that came across two years in a row.”
Scott, a Moffat County High School senior who is a junior staff member at the club, said her reason for volunteering is the children she works with.
“I enjoy being a mentor to the kids and making the positive difference,” she said. “It is nice they have a place to come so they are not just sitting at home. They walk through the door so happy and it is a lot of fun to spend time with them.”
During her three years at the Boys & Girls Club, Scott has helped in several programs and also helped launch a more organized art program.
But, it’s a project called “Team Green,” which she works on with fellow staff member Lissa Radmen, that has Scott most excited.
The purpose of “Team Green” is to help educate children on being more environmentally friendly, Scott said.
“For ‘Team Green,’ we do different things with the kids to teach them what they can do to help our environment,” she said. “We took them up to the power plant and I taught them about the oil spills and how it affects our environment.
“We also had them take a chocolate chip cookie and mine out the chocolate chips to see how hard it was to put back together.”
Being a student herself, Scott said it can be challenging to balance volunteer work at the club and her own school work, which includes college courses.
“This year has been a little more challenging because I am graduating with half my associate’s degree completed,” she said. “It is more challenging managing homework with college courses, but I make sure I set aside time at home to get it done.”
Outside of school and the Boys & Girls Club, Scott said she enjoys snowboarding and team roping with her family.
Scott also competes on the MCHS track and field team during the spring.
As an active person, Scott said she knows it can be hard for club kids to concentrate on their schoolwork when they can play at the club.
The solution: creating and implementing an incentive program to reward children with arts and crafts, basketball or other fun activities.
“When I first started working here, I found it challenging because I was always the kid who didn’t want to be buckled down to the school work,” Scott said. “We really work on the positive reinforcement a ton. We learn different things we can do with them to get them excited.”
Having a great junior staff, Duran said, is part of the reason the Boys & Girls Club can be successful.
“The kids can really reach out to the high school kids,” she said. “They see me as an old lady, like an aunt, but they see the junior staff as, ‘Oh my gosh, I could be that one day,’ so for the junior staff, it is leading by example.”
Becki Miller, the club’s front desk administrator, said it’s Scott’s outgoing personality that helps her connect with children.
“Kadi can put herself in the kid’s position and she has the insight where she can see where they are coming from and know how they feel,” Miller said. “Kadi is Kadi and thinks this is a worthwhile organization. She has the outgoing personality and she cares and wants to give her all.”
When Scott graduates from MCHS in May, she plans to pursue a degree to teach special education.
Scott said every minute at the Boys & Girls Club between now and her departure will have to be well spent, as well as appreciated.
“I think this club does huge things in our community because you can tell some of the kids aren’t as well off for whatever the case may be, so we provide a safe, fun place for them to come and interact with others,” she said.
“I wish I would have came here when I was a kid. I see how much of a difference it makes in all the kids’ lives and if I could have come here instead of going home and sitting on the couch, it would have been awesome.”
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