Kilgore Boys & Girls Club awards SMART students

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Being smart paid off for members of the Kilgore Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday. The youngsters who completed the club’s 2017-18 after school program received certificates at an awards ceremony May 22 at the BGC location on Harris Street. By completing the Start SMART, SMART Moves and Stay SMART programs, the kids proved they had learned how to make good choices when dealing with issues like self-esteem and bullying.

Lakesha Hall, Kilgore BGC unit director, opened the ceremony by congratulating the young people who had participated in the program.

“Today our plan is to show our kids some appreciation and award them for the accomplishments that they have had throughout the school year,” Hall said.

Guest speaker for the event was Yasmine Wilson, a recent Kilgore College graduate of the Communications program who studied advertising and journalism while writing for the KC Flare campus newspaper. Wilson worked for the Kilgore BGC while in college and offered some parting words of advice for the children before she moves away from Kilgore to continue her education at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches.

“Going here taught me humility and having respect and also self-respect. You want to respect others and you also want to respect yourself and stand up for yourself when you have to,” Wilson said. “Working here taught me a lot about leadership and initiative and getting things done when I need to.”

Wilson stressed the importance of hard work and having a plan to her audience. She also mentioned her own plans for the future and spoke about the importance of education.

“Being in college is fun but it’s also daunting and you have to be focused. I know y’all have all these technological changes and you like to be on your iPads and iPhones but you have to have a main focus on your education,” Wilson said.

After Wilson’s speech, Hall and other BGC staff members handed out awards and certificates of completion to members from kindergarten through eighth grade.

To learn more about the Kilgore Boys and Girls club, call 903-984-6071 or visit the Boys and Girls Club of America website at www.bgca.org.

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