The mission of the Boys and Girls Club of San Bernardino is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. They offer a number of core programs that emphasize character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, arts, and sports and recreation. This particular program involved a guest speaker.
Mid-court of the gym, inside of the Boys and Girls Club, were forty-five chairs waiting to be filled. Along the side of the gym sat kids, ages seven thru seventeen, chatting up a storm. Team leaders of the club addressed the youth group with a reminder of the importance of making a good first impression when meeting new people. Members of Dream Big Project set up as founder, Miguel, patiently waits and contemplates at the corner of the gym for his name to be called.
There were a few critical topics brought up during Miguel’s speech. From the look on their faces, some hit home for these kids. Especially when Miguel shared what happened on the night of his accident. The importance of having your values aligned with your dreams, believing in yourself no matter what others say, and dreaming big is what his message surrounded. Immediately after his speech, without even asking, hands went up quickly. A number of youth were wondering what Miguel dreams were at their age and whether or not different now. There’s was tons of curiosity in the room that was ignited by nothing of love.
It was as if all the youth present knew exactly what they were looking at at the conclusion of the speaking engagement. It wasn’t a person in a wheelchair. It wasn’t a complete stranger. What they realized and felt was that Miguel was one of them. Someone who understood what it’s like to grow up in a rough neighborhood. Someone who didn’t have all the answers or all the best things growing up. They seen someone who wanted to help them succeed and get through their struggles. They seen someone who believed in them, and sometimes that’s the most important thing in a child’s life.