Unlike most Club kids, Salima Smith has had the unique experience of being a member of two different branches within Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix (BGCMP). Although she was nervous about the transition, her experience has been just as positive at both branches. With guidance from the Club staff, Salima is focused and determined to finish her high school career strong.
Q. How long have you been attending the Tri-City West/Thornwood Branch?
A. I’ve been attending the Tri-City West/Thornwood Branch since the beginning of this school year. Before that, I attended the Louis & Elizabeth Sands Branch during my first two years of high school. I was scared because I was super comfortable at Sands. The transition was like going to a new school. In reality, Tri-City was welcoming and warm. They made me feel happy to be here, so it was a good transition.
Q. What activities or programs are you a part of at the Club?
A. I’m in Keystone Club and recently played girls basketball. I hope to play volleyball here as well.
Q. How has the Club helped you in other aspects of your like school and home?
A. Because my mom and stepdad work late, it gives me a place to do my homework. I’d be stuck at school until 5:00 without the Club. It’s a nice way to get kids off the street. The Club staff is welcoming; I can talk to them about anything and they make me feel like family.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about attending the Club?
A. My favorite thing is Keystone Club, where I also hold a leadership role as Vice President. We plan events for the Club and it’s really fun. I assist the President and make sure we stay on track at meetings and get to integrate my ideas.
Q. What would you be doing if you didn’t have the Club?
A. If I didn’t have the Club, I’d be at school waiting for my parents. I wouldn’t have the social life that I do now.
Q. What advice would you give to younger kids about succeeding in life?
A. No dreams are too big. You can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. My math teacher tells us we get the grade we want, and I believe that. The effort we put into it is what we get out of it.
Q. What are your goals?
A. My short-term goal is to finish the next two school years with straight A’s. I’m really hoping for that. Long term, I want to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Washington.
Salima Smith is a sophomore at Desert Edge High School.