Nicholas Aponte

Age 8
Oak Hammock Club Member

Nicholas started with the Boys & Girls Clubs this past August. He is a second grader who attends Oak Hammock Elementary. Relocating from another State, Nicholas knew no one, felt alone, frightened and was unloved.

Nicholas Aponte

Nicholas was also struggling with some personal issues surrounding his parents recent divorce. He was very angry and would start trouble with other Club members. He would take things away from Kindergarten and 1st graders and seemed to enjoy watching them cry. The Boys & Girls Clubs does not condone these types of behaviors. However, as youth development professionals we work diligently with all Club members to reach their full potential as caring, responsible and productive citizens. Our Club Director, Ms. Kathy, brought these concerns to Nicholas’ mother and began to have continual talks with Nicholas about feelings and how to deal with other’s feelings. She gave him a code word to use when he couldn’t handle his emotions any longer which would alert staff to the situation and allow them to diffuse it before anything could happen. Nicholas embraced this process and used his code word daily, sometimes multiple times a day. So much so, that the staff started thinking about hot and spicy food a lot as the code word was “Hot Sauce.” Every time Nicholas used the code word a staff member would go for a walk with him and have a conversation about what made him angry. They would also discuss how he could have handled the situation better. Little by little Nicholas started taking initiative with his anger and dealing with it on his own and staff members began to hear the word Hot Sauce less and less. Today Nicholas freely gives Ms. Kathy a hug and a huge smile when he comes to the Club! He is excited to play with his peers and has even began assisting younger members. This young man just needed to be reassured that he fit in, to know that he was accepted and loved. When he saw that, everything just clicked into place. His smile lights up the room and he is very happy to hear his name called, because he knows it’s not for something he did wrong. We are proud to recognize Nicholas for his progress and accomplishments thus far. We are confident his future will be bright! Great Futures Start Here at the Boys & Girls Clubs.