Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County’s 2017 Youth of the Year Paula Banda has had many opportunities to share her Club story publicly, as part of her journey within the Youth of the Year Program. Part of her story includes her goals for the future—to attend Harvard and practice Immigration Law. Several local lawyers heard her speech and reached out to help with career advice. Recently, Paula and a small group of teens from the Sedro-Woolly Boys & Girls Club had a chance to meet these lawyers to learn about their practice.
Laura Riquelme, who works as public defender for Skagit County, and has recently served as a judge as well, gave Paula and a few of her friends a tour of the Skagit County courthouse. She gave the Club members an overview of the work she does, how it affects the community, and how she decided to pursue a career in law. She also shared some great insights on the difference between being a judge and being a lawyer.
Joseph Bowen was born and raised in Skagit Valley. After law school he came back to the area and eventually opened up his own law practice. He took the time to sit down with the Woolley teens and talk about motivation and determination. He detailed the journey he took from Skagit County to Harvard to law school at UW back to Skagit County and encouraged the Boys & Girls Clubs members to set their goals high.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County would like to thank everyone involved for taking the time to share their career knowledge with the Club members.
When Club member Nathan exclaimed, “Ready, Set, Go!”, nothing happened. Two snails sat entirely still, safely tucked as much as they could possibly tuck, inside their protective shells. A handmade race course drawn out on paper lay underneath them, complete with obstacles and a finish line. Maybe a nudge would help, they thought, but still no response. Then someone came bounding in, “I found another ladybug!” and the snails were scooped up to be deposited back outside, while the group continued on in their critter search.
This is the kind of spontaneous fun that can be cultivated on any day after school at the Sedro-Woolley Boys & Girls Club. This group was participating in gardening club with long-time volunteer, Cookson Beecher on one of the first warm spring days of the year. They observed soil temperatures, the progress of the returning flowers, and the vegetables they had started from seed. A barely discernible pea sprout was discovered poking through the dirt, ready to climb its trellis, with a well established bunch of chives in the corner nearby. Then the first ladybug was found and the search shifted to examining all types of bugs and spiders.
The Club members in Sedro-Woolley cultivate flowers and a vegetable garden every year with generous donations of seeds, starts, and compost, with volunteers lending their time and expertise. They love to create flower arrangements as gifts and to beautify their Club. They learn about new foods and healthy eating, through tending their vegetables, and experience the satisfaction of seeing their hard work materialize into treats like zucchini bread.