The Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich is known for its stellar programming and mission:  “To prepare young people, through enrichment opportunities and supportive relationships, to be responsible, caring and productive community members.”  Kids between the ages of 6 and 18 attend these life-changing programs that include academic success and enrichment, character development and healthy lifestyles.  The programs run after school and during vacations as camps.  We are thrilled to celebrate the 2022 high school graduates and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.  We enjoyed learning about their favorite moments during their small-group character and leadership clubs: Torch Club (ages 11-13) and Keystone Club (ages 14-18).

Photography by ChiChi Ubiña

Paige Pray

Current SchoolGreenwich High School

College Planning to Attend – Quinnipiac University

Field of Study – Criminal Justice

How long have you been going to the Boys and Girls Club?

11 Years

What’s your favorite memory of your time at the Boys and Girls Club?

Playing Just Dance on New Years Day in the Game Room.

What’s your favorite part of your day at the Boys and Girls Club?

Although I’ve been going to the Club for 11 years, I also work there now; the best part of my day is going in every day to work, seeing all of these kids who look up to me say hello and give me hugs. It makes me feel as though I’ve made an impact on their lives.

Advice you would give to a younger club member?

Get involved; the Club has amazing opportunities for all of its members and it’s a family that you can always rely on. You’ll never regret being a Club member.

Current favorite hobby or Interest?

Cooking.

Do you play a sport?

Yes, Lacrosse.

Favorite music/song/band/performer?

Over by Lucky Daye.

What is a hidden talent, or something people would be surprised to find out about you?

I did a diaper commercial as a toddler.

If you were given one year off from school/work, and had unlimited resources, what would you do with the time?

If I was given one year off from school/work, I would do the things I’ve always wanted to do; I’d cook all of the recipes I’ve written down and never got to try, finish the clothes I started upcycling and never finished, maybe try acting, etc.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I am enrolled in the 3+3(Undergraduate and JD) and Honors programs at Quinnipiac for the fall.

 

 

Sofia DeVito

Current School – Greenwich High School

College Planning to Attend – Northeastern University (however still undecided)

Field of Study –Biology (Premed track)

How long have you been going to the Boys and Girls Club?

8 Years

What’s your favorite memory of your time at the Boys and Girls Club?

My favorite memories are the Barracudas Swim Team and Keystone. The practices, swim meets, meetings every Tuesday; just being around the friendly people is my favorite part.

What’s your favorite part of your day at the Boys and Girls Club?

From the moment I walk in, my favorite part is getting a warm greeting by all of the staff members and kids. Everyone has a smile on their face and it instantly puts me in a good mood despite all of my other worries.

Advice you would give to a younger club member?

Enjoy the time you are there, because time flies so fast and you grow up quicker than you can imagine. I still remember my younger self going to swim practice, and joining Keystone for the first time; I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences here for the world!

Current favorite hobby or Interest?

Playing sports.

Do you play a sport?

Yes, soccer and swimming.

Favorite music/song/band/performer?

J. Cole and Kanye West

What is a hidden talent, or something people would be surprised to find out about you?

I’ve watched The Office 9 times.

If you were given one year off from school/work, and had unlimited resources, what would you do with the time?

It is important to me to help those in need. So, if I was given one year off, I would travel to underdeveloped countries to help those communities.

 

 

 

Damarys Aceituno

Current School – Greenwich High School

College Planning to Attend – Loyola University Chicago

Field of Study –Business

How long have you been going to the Boys and Girls Club?

12 Years

What’s your favorite memory of your time at the Boys and Girls Club?

My favorite memory is hosting the Torch Club conference in 2018. I was president of Torch Club at this time and had the pleasure of making new friends and planning fun activities for the other members.

What’s your favorite part of your day at the Boys and Girls Club?

Always being greeted with a smile and providing the members with opportunities to learn and participate in new activities.

Advice you would give to a younger club member?

I would advise a younger club member to participate in every activity and opportunity that the Boys and Girls Club has to offer. By trying new things you can broaden your horizons and learn new things about yourself and the world around you. The memories and friendships you make during the activities and programs will stick with you throughout your childhood.

Current favorite hobby or Interest?

My favorite interests include dance and arts and interacting with my community.

Do you play a sport?

I do not play a sport. I used to dance but had to stop after my freshman year of high school.

Favorite music/song/band/performer?

There are so many to chose from, one of my favorite bands would have to be LANY. One of my favorite songs is Right my Mac Miller. One of my favorite artists is Billie Eilish.

What is a hidden talent, or something people would be surprised to find out about you?

I enjoy learning about the environment around me and how I can change my habits in order to improve the planet.

If you were given one year off from school/work, and had unlimited resources, what would you do with the time?

I have always loved traveling to new places and I would love to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about new cultures. I would definitely use a year off to travel through Europe and parts of Asia.

Anything else you’d like to share?

The club has been a huge support for me and my future plans. Without the recourses and opportunities I have been handed through the boys and girls club I would not be where I am today.

 

 

Jonathan Maldonado

Current School – Westhill High School

College Planning to Attend – NCC or UCONN

Field of Study – Nursing

How long have you been going to the Boys and Girls Club?

12 Years

What’s your favorite memory of your time at the Boys and Girls Club?

I have so many amazing memories from the Boys and Girls Club but my favorite would have to be the Stamford VS Greenwich boys and girls club kickball game. It was like a movie scene. Last inning, 2 outs, bases nearly loaded and 1 run down, I launched the ball all the way to the other side of the gym with a home run and Greenwich Boys and Girls Club won the game.

What’s your favorite part of your day at the Boys and Girls Club?

My favorite part of the day was always free swim or swimming lessons with the aquatics coordinator Ashley Culver.

Advice you would give to a younger club member?

Have fun, make friends, and participate in as many activities as you can. The Boys and Girls Club will become like a second home to you if you let it be!

Current favorite hobby or Interest?

Going to the gym.

Do you play a sport?

Currently not playing a sport.

Favorite music/song/band/performer?

Eminem

What is a hidden talent, or something people would be surprised to find out about you?

I play the saxophone, drums, piano, and a little guitar

If you were given one year off from school/work, and had unlimited resources, what would you do with the time?

First I would pay off any debt my family has left. Then I would take my family and friends to travel the world. I want to see how people live in other countries and make some memories.

Anything else you’d like to share?

The Boys and Girls Club is a place for kids to have fun and grow into young adults while learning responsibility, respect, integrity, and other life skills. The Club has provided me with so many resources to help me with my transition from high school to college with classes such as college writing classes, SAT courses, and personal finance classes all for free.

 

 

Isaac Dumeny

Current School – Greenwich High School

College Planning to Attend – Arizona State University 

Field of Study – Sports Medicine

How long have you been going to the Boys and Girls Club?

11 Years

What’s your favorite memory of your time at the Boys and Girls Club?

The late night soccer and basketball league games.

What’s your favorite part of your day at the Boys and Girls Club?

Being in the gym, field, or the Annex playing soccer with the kids and having fun.

Advice you would give to a younger club member?

Be yourself and try new things.

Current favorite hobby or Interest?

Working out and learning about nutrition.

Do you play a sport?

Yes Soccer.

Favorite music/song/band/performer?

Aaryan Shah

What is a hidden talent, or something people would be surprised to find out about you?

I can squat 315 pounds.

If you were given one year off from school/work, and had unlimited resources, what would you do with the time?

I would create multiple business/associations that focus on helping people that have low income and another boys and girls club. I would do this because I feel helping out people when needed is the best thing to do and it really can improve one’s life. For example it helped my life when I was playing soccer.

Anything else you’d like to share?

No that will be all

 

 

Isaac Dacres

Current School – Greenwich High School

College Planning to Attend – ASU

Field of Study –Business

How long have you been going to the Boys and Girls Club?

4 Years

What’s your favorite memory of your time at the Boys and Girls Club?

High school night on Friday’s.

What’s your favorite part of your day at the Boys and Girls Club?

Teen Night.

Advice you would give to a younger club member?

Enjoy and cherish the moments you have there because when you go off to college you will realize that there’s nothing like the Boys and Girls club.

Current favorite hobby or Interest?

Favorite interest is learning to drive stick shift.

Do you play a sport?

I run track.

Favorite music/song/band/performer?

Song : Quiet storm

What is a hidden talent, or something people would be surprised to find out about you?

I can move my ears.

If you were given one year off from school/work, and had unlimited resources, what would you do with the time?

Visit family, I say this because I think that everyone loves visiting there family but it’s doesn’t always happen because of schedule and work so I think If I had 1 year off I would try and contact all my family members that I haven’t seen in a while.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Ryan Accurso and Cam Ferrara were the two people that really made my club experience top tier. Although I came to the club my freshman year of high school they both made me fell like I’ve been there for years and they established a huge brotherhood amongst me and my friends that will last for a very long time.

 

 

Karen Nightof

Current School – Greenwich High School

College Planning to Attend – George Washington University

Field of Study –Business Administration

How long have you been going to the Boys and Girls Club?

6 Years

What’s your favorite memory of your time at the Boys and Girls Club?

My favorite memory of my time at the Boys and Girls Club was during summer camp, the first year I did Teen Camp. This was the first summer I had spent in Greenwich since moving there and although I had made some friends during the school year, I found that at Teen Camp was where I found my true friends. During Teen Camp with the field trips and the time we were able to spend together I found friends that I was able to laugh with a care very much for to the point that we are still very close friends today. Additionally, that summer was the time I saw strengthen my connection to the Boys and Girls through the staff. I saw how the staff cared for all of us and helped me see that the Boys and Girls Club is a place for support and pushing us to be the best we can be.

What’s your favorite part of your day at the Boys and Girls Club?

My favorite part of the day is when I walk into work, or even if I’m not working that day, and having the kids run up to me, give me hug, or yell my name “KAREENNN!!” This is my favorite part because I am able to see how much I mean to the kids I work with and the impact I have on them. They trust me to look out for them or simply spend some time playing dodgeball with them in the gym.

Advice you would give to a younger club member?

Advice I would give to a younger club member is to try new things.

Current favorite hobby or Interest?

My current favorite interest is painting and I look up some painting on Pinterest or google and paint them on a canvas.

Do you play a sport?

No.

Favorite music/song/band/performer?

My favorite artist is Harry Styles.

What is a hidden talent, or something people would be surprised to find out about you?

A hidden talent/something people find surprising about me are my nails. Ever since I was in elementary school, I always did my own nails. I do all sorts of designs on my nails that people always ask me if I go to the salon to get them done, but I don’t. People always find it pretty impressive that they have elaborate/detailed designs on them.

If you were given one year off from school/work, and had unlimited resources, what would you do with the time?

If I was given one year off from school and had unlimited resources, I would travel to Europe and visit Spain, Italy, and France. I would choose Europe and those countries because I haven’t really traveled to other places other than staying in state and going to Ecuador. But, Spain and Italy I am interested in because over the years in high school I’ve learned about famous places there and the history that goes with it. I love to focus and learn about the history for example in France I would like to visit the Palace of Versailles not only for its beautiful architecture but its history. The Palace of Versailles is famous for where the Kings of France used to live (King Louis) and for the singing of the Treat of Versailles during WW1. Similarly I would like to go to Spain for the Spanish Literature I have always read about like Don Quijote and other places we have learned in my Spanish classes. Then I would like to visit Italy also to discover its history but to also visit it/s beautiful landscape and scenery.

 

 

 

The Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich programs cost $75 per student.  In order to sustain the low cost, the club is funded through donations and fundraising events.  Please click here to get more information.  If you are interested in attending the annual benefit “The summer of Love” on September 9th – please click here for tickets and to participate in the annual 5K Run and Family Walk – Muddy Up – please click here.