My name is Katie Mulleague. I first came to the Boys & Girls Club of Chico in 1999 as a high school student. I initially joined the club as a volunteer, but quickly the club became an active and important part of my life. After working as a volunteer, I worked my way up to the position of Recreation Counselor by my freshman year in college at UCSB.

I began as a volunteer thinking I was giving back to the community and helping children, not viewing myself as someone who needed help. However, now as an adult I see how much positive support I received from the staff and members of the Boys & Girls Club of Chico. Not only did I gain many good friends and role models, but the club served as a family to not only me, but to all of the members of the club.

I grew up in a poor family with divorced parents from a young age, and I constantly searched for a place where I felt valued and like I belonged. I always appeared a happy and self-confident child, but it was not until I began working with the club that I truly felt confident and proud.

In addition to the love and support, the club taught me responsibility and work ethic. I still remember how the staff gave me my first job interview. While I’m sure they had planned on giving me the job, they were kind enough to take the opportunity to teach me how to behave and prepare for an interview. I dressed as professional as I could and after the interview they showed me the video tape and give me advice on how to improve my interview skills. I had never heard so many “ums” in my entire life.

In 2001 I was awarded the Boys & Girls Club of Chico’sYouth of the Year Award. Not only was this the first time I had ever won anything, but it in many ways gave value to all the time I had devoted to the club. I believe to be such an important moment because it recognized the one thing I was truly proud of in my life at that time.

Along with the award I was given a scholarship for my first year at UCSB. It was at UCSB that I majored in mathematics and minored in Spanish. After graduation I moved to Santiago, Chile to improve my Spanish skills and teach English. I now find myself back in Northern California in a Masters and Teaching Credential program to become a bilingual math teacher.

In many ways the club defined me during my high school years and has most definitely shaped my life as an adult. I gained confidence, skills and a love for working with children and education that have affected all of my life decisions. I am very much the happy and successful person I am today because of the Boys & Girls Club of Chico. I willalways be grateful for all they have done for me and all they do for children like me everyday.

Katie Mulleague

Former Club Member, Youth Of The Year, January 6, 2010