As told by Ricardo Sandoval, Wm. J. Oakes Branch Manager
Our members have a special place in our hearts and some of them we only see during summer so it really is a treat to see them grow up and change from year-to-year. *Jacob, who has special needs, is such a member.
When Jacob first came to the Club in 2014, we were not sure if it would be the best fit for him as he is autistic and therefore needed extra attention and supervision which can be difficult during the summer months when the club is extra busy with additional kids. However, the staff were patience and were able to give Jeremiah a memorable summer Day Camp experience.
When Jacob returned in 2015, we hoped that he would not have the same struggles as he did the previous year. The staff was pleasantly surprised, as not only was he behaving and communicating better, they could also see real growth and improvement as a person. His second year of Summer Camp surpassed all expectations. He became just another one of the kids at camp!
Jacob has made great memories and friendships over the past two summers that he can carry with him for the rest of his life. We can’t wait to see him again next year!
I decided to share Jacob’s story because he is really the epitome of many of our members. Some are troubled kids who have a hard time at school, some come from single parent homes, some just has no other place to be for the summer and we open our doors to them and welcome them as part of the Wm. J. Oakes Branch family.
Jacob’s story is a reminder of why we do what we do and just reinforces what a special place the Boys & Girls Club is.
*Name & photo have been changed