When I arrived in Phenix City, Alabama in June 1965 I did not know a word of English. Having arrived from Cuba a few months earlier, I knew no one except my parents and older sister. Luckily I had the Summer to learn the language! Three blocks down the hill from my house there was this magical place known as the Boys Club. There I would spend every weekend and everyday after school. Crafts, sports, and help with homework were all available while I was becoming integrated with a different culture and language. For years I thought these clubs would be everywhere children needed them. Turns out they weren't. I moved to Milledgeville, Georgia in 1968 and went looking for a Boy's Club (They were kept separate from the Girl's Club for many years). There was nothing like it there and so I went about making friends and playing with the neighborhood kids. However, i never forgot how the Boy's Club helped me. A few years after settling in Naples I heard of the founding of the Boy's and Girl's Club of Collier County. A few years later I was asked to join the Board of Directors of the club. Finally, I got my chance to give it back! I never looked back after that…only forward!
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