Success Stories

The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County is proud to inspire confidence in our youth participants.

Meet Denzel Irby

In 2011, 18-year-old Denzel was named our Youth of the Year.  Denzel has been a member of the Club since he was seven years old, and found the Club to be a safe haven and a fun place to be.  Denzel overcame many difficult circumstances, including his father’s drug addiction and his mother’s absenteeism.  Thanks to the strong will of his grandmother, and donors like you who invested in programming at the Club, Denzel was able to start college this fall and is currently studying Theatre & Performing Arts at DePaul University in Chicago. While many doors will open for kids like Denzel, our doors will transform their lives!

Meet James Blile

In 2005, at the age of seven, James opened an account at the Boys & Girls Club’s STAR Credit Union with a $2 deposit.  When he came home and told his mom, she was surprised. “Really?” she said. “You did that on your own?”  Little did she know what would become of that $2 savings account.  At our Credit Union, children can open an account with only 25 cents, and can save up to a $500 account limit.  James saved until he reached that $500 mark.  He and his mom withdrew the $500 and opened a Certificate of Deposit at Summit Credit Union.  But James was not satisfied.  This summer, at age 12,

James was ready to enter the stock market, but he didn’t know where to invest. After participating in our Stock Market club, James made two stock purchases and chose to reinvest his dividends to grow his investment. James’s goal is to continue investing and saving for college. His vision for the future includes finishing college, having a good job, buying a home, and buying his mom a new car.

Meet RiKayla Blile

Eight-year-old RiKayla is picked up daily from school in one of the Boys & Girls Club’s vans.  Some of her favorite activities include arts and crafts, cheerleading for our youth-sponsored cheerleading club, and studying in College Club.  She has fun learning and interacting with her friends at the Club. Rita, mother of James and RiKayla, is a single mom who works in the health care industry. She volunteers at the Club on a regular basis and credits the Boys & Girls Club with developing innovative ways to educate kids while ensuring that they are having fun at the same time!  “I am so excited to see the transformation of the programs at the Club,” says Rita. “My kids are just two of many who benefit from the certified teachers, the new garden chorographer, the new dance studio, and the Credit Union. I am so thankful to the Boys & Girls Club and its donors for helping bring out the full potential of my kids.”

Meet Jeanet Ugalde

Jeanet Ugalde is a 2010 East High School AVID/TOPS graduate. Jeanet shares how the AVID/TOPS program impacted her life. “My name is Jeanet Ugalde, I am a former sophomore alumni at the University of Madison WI, I am happy to say that without AVID/TOPS I wouldn’t be here today. AVID/TOPS not only helped me excel in high school, but also it expanded my knowledge on the different types of careers out there for me to pursue by allowing me to do internships on different fields of study. Thanks to all the help I received from AVID/TOPS I am at the University of Madison, WI on a full ride scholarship to obtain my bachelors in science.”