The Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana provides a free place for more than 2,000 students in Acadiana to go after school.
Almost all of the club members News 10 interviewed say the Boys & Girls Club has turned into a second home.
It usually doesn’t start that way, most students say they’re a little bit shy and afraid at first and Tra’taraion Levene was no different.
“When I came I was so shy until one staff member started bringing me around the kids that were my age,” the ninth grade student said. “I started becoming more outgoing and everybody started liking me so I came back here every year.”
Now as a veteran club member of almost 5 years, Levene says she has the opportunity to give back. “If I can’t see my friend at school, I can come over here and we can see each other and we help the little kids with their homework, so it was a good experience for me,” she says.
Levene said she encourages younger students, especially girls, to give the Boys & Girls Club a try. “Friendships start here because if you are shy. They will help you get out of your shyness and you get to meet new people, be best friends with people, and have a great experience over here,” says Levene.
At the Boys & Girls Club, all of the older members are encouraged to help out around where they can. Directors say that younger students benefit the most from peer mentoring.