Selected among many outstanding youth, Jaden Appling has been named the Jeff Mattingly Foundation Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County.
Jaden, 16, joined the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County two years ago as one of our teen members. She has already experienced immense difficulties in her life, but says that the Club brought a light that she has needed for a long time. Jaden quickly took advantage of the different programs offered at the Club and got involved with as many as she could. She enjoys the archery program and teen nights the most. It wasn’t until Jaden joined the SMART Girls program that she knew she had found her niche. Her leadership was welcome and encouraged in this group and she even came up with ways to enhance it so others would feel comfortable joining as well. SMART Girls is a small-group that focuses on health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement.
Jaden’s real passion is to serve others. She can typically be found in the Club mentoring our younger youth or helping Tammy LaMere, Front Desk Manager.
“Jaden is an outstanding young lady. She is very mature for her age. Jaden cares a lot for people and loves to help out where ever she can,” says Tammy.
Jaden hopes to devote her life to showing other young people that no matter what you are going through or have gone through, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams. Anything is possible with a little hard work, self-confidence, and determination.
“My grandparents took on three kids with no warning, and no parents around to help. The amount of care, support and love I have received from the Club is immeasurable. When my grandparents could not get my sister's and I clothes or when there wasn't enough food in the cabinets all I had to do was ask, and the Club took care of us. The Club gives me hope, for myself, my sisters, and for our future. Even through the pandemic,” Jaden says.
Special thanks to The Jeff Mattingly Foundation for sponsoring our Youth of The Year Program!