Featured Member, Destiny Ortega

When a new member starts coming to club, the staff and the member have to feel out the waters. As a staff we are watching for what they like, what they don’t like, and what issues may arise. As a member, they are trying to figure out where they want to be in club, how much they can get away with, and which staff member has the best jokes (answer: the staff only have dad jokes and its embarrassing). In the Summer of 2019, one of our new members, Destiny, quickly became one of the best kids to have around. She was heading to 4th grade and very excited for all the activities offered at club. Destiny was always offering to help with extra clean up or help the staff with anything they were doing, especially Leslie. It was great to see a newer staff member at the time, really bound with a new club member. The Montrose Site Director, Megan, knew that Destiny looked up to Leslie, but didn’t realize just how much until the end of summer. One day while registering for the school year session, Destiny’s mom was talking with Megan and was extremely thankful for Club. She explained that she hadn’t planned on having Destiny attend club during the school year but had changed her mind a few weeks earlier and started saving her tip money from her job at a local restaurant, so that Destiny would get to come to club. Destiny’s mom then told Megan that before club, Destiny would often argue with her mom and occasionally lie to her mom to get what she wanted. But after coming to club for 6 weeks, that had completely changed, and Destiny had a much better attitude at home. When her mom asked what caused the change, Destiny told her that it was because she was talking to one of the staff, Leslie, about what was happening and that she wanted to keep coming to club so that she could still hang out with her. She liked that Leslie takes time to listen to her and just hang out with her. As a staff, we were overwhelmed with the appreciation we received from this parent, and the lengths she went to keep her daughter at club. To this day, we have rarely experienced anything but joy from destiny. She is still extremely helpful at club and the staff love spending time with her!

The more we are able to keep costs for families low and scholarships available, the more families we are able to help and the more chances we get to provide a space for kids like Destiny to simply be a kid.