Thursday, May 31, 2012
As a 6-year-old Stevin Burton first stepped foot on the Boys and Girls Club campus. As a student at Orchard Knob Elementary School, Orchard Knob Middle School and Brainerd High School, he grew up in the environment in which he now serves as a leader.
He continues to choose a positive path in life through volunteering to make a difference in the life of youth in his neighborhood.
“I get here at 4 p.m., walk through the building, monitor kids and make sure everyone is doing what they need to be doing,” said the recent Brainerd High School graduate. “I try my best to be a leader and to stop negative things from happening. I encourage other youth to be mentors too.”
Now at age 17, his role at the club has changed over time. Since 2008, he has led other youth in organized flag football games, basketball scrimmages or through tutoring them in the club library on computers. For his efforts he is receiving the highest award given by the Boys and Girls Club, the 2011 Youth of the Year Award. He accepted this honor May 10.
Burton plans to continue volunteering at the club this summer.
“I live within walking distance of the Boys and Girls Club,” said Burton, a resident of Highland Park. “I volunteer to help students after school with homework during Power Hour from 4-5 p.m. It’s an educational program. They do their homework on a set of computers. They have a set amount of educational games to play through Kids College.”
He applied to become a staff member at the Boys and Girls Club for the summer and is waiting to find out.
Starting May 23 the club will operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. About 200 youth typically come each day for summer activities. Burton turns 18 the day the summer programs start.
“He’s grown up in the club a lot,” said Boys and Girls Club program manager Cynetria Watkins. “The kids respect him. He encourages and relates to kids in a positive way. I’m really proud of him for receiving the 2011 Youth of the Year Award. He deserves it. He’s worked hard.”
Burton said mentors that helped him become a leader at the Boys and Girls Club are Michael Burton, Tahme’Sha Washington, Aaron Luke and Dawn Rowe.