Murray Boys & Girls Club youth chosen as prestigious Youth Afterschool AmbassadorFeb 07, 2022 02:10PM ● By Shaun Delliskave
Noah Shaw appointed Afterschool Alliance Youth Ambassador. (Photo courtesy Miller Boys & Girls Club)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
Noah Shaw, a student at the Miller Family Boys & Girls Club Afterschool Program and Hillcrest Junior High, will serve as a 2021/22 Afterschool Alliance Youth Ambassador. Shaw is one of just nine students from across the country selected for the honor. He was chosen based on his essay in a competition held earlier this year.
“We are delighted that Noah is part of this year’s class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors,” Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant said. “He has powerful personal experiences that speak to the importance of after-school programs in his life and the lives of other youth.”
Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization that ensures that all children and youth have access to quality after-school programs. The alliance believes after-school programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, and give working parents peace of mind. Their research shows that children in after-school programs attend school more often, get better grades, and are more likely to graduate. In addition, they are less likely to use drugs or alcohol.
“I’m really excited to be a Youth Afterschool Ambassador,” Shaw said. “What I love most about the Miller Family Boys & Girls Club after-school program is the one-on-one time I get with staff and friends. I feel so safe at the program. It’s my second home. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”
During his one-year term, Shaw will promote the value of after-school programs by sharing his experiences in these programs and his views about the role after-school programs play in their communities. He will write for the Afterschool Snack, the Afterschool Alliance blog, about the importance of after-school programs. As a youth ambassador, he will also connect with members of Congress and their aides as part of the Afterschool for All Challenge next spring.
“This program has given me the mentorship and community I need to try new things, succeed in my classes, and explore my interests. I’m thrilled to share my experiences and build support for after-school programs because I know how important these programs are for students like me,” Shaw said.
In addition to being a youth ambassador, Shaw enjoys playing on the community football team. His national youth ambassador counterparts hail from California, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Virginia, and Washington.
According to the Afterschool Alliance, the most recent America After 3PM household survey of more than 31,000 families found that for every child in an after-school program in the United States, three more are waiting to get in. The families of 24.6 million children—more than ever before—cannot access a program; many report cost as a barrier. There are significant inequities, with Black and Latinx children unable to access the after-school programs their parents want for them.
“As the pandemic continues disrupting the lives of so many young people, their schools, and communities, it is especially important that we continue to share the benefits these essential programs provide. After-school programs keep students safe, inspire them to learn, provide peace of mind to working parents, and also help children re-engage and recover during this difficult time. But too many young people don’t have a program available to them,” Grant said.
Founded in 1967 as the Murray Club, Shaw’s program was the first Boys & Girls Club in Utah. The Club was expanded, renovated and reopened as the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Club in 2019. Every Club member has access to a full-size gym, computer lab, technology center, program curriculum developed by experts at Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and daily meals and healthy snacks.
“Noah will do a terrific job spreading the word about the need for more support for after-school programs,” Grant said.