East Harlem Center Keystone Club Honored at National Boys & Girls Clubs of America Conference in Atlanta

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The Children's Aid Society's East Harlem Center (EHC) welcomed home its Keystone Club from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's National Keystone Conference, held in Atlanta, Georgia in early April. Experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime event, our Keystoners were honored at the conference with several awards recognizing their inspiring activities: two first place awards, one second place, and a special Advisor of the Year award for Midge Caparosa, the Keystone Advisor and job-training counselor at the East Harlem, New York Center of The Children's Aid Society.

In the category of Character and Leadership Development, the teens took first place for their success in having a traffic light installed at a dangerous intersection in their East Harlem neighborhood. In recognition of the teens' fundraising activities, the club also won first place in the category of Free Enterprise for creating By Kids Ink, a greeting card company. The second place award was for the Education and Career Exploration category, for their mock news program "WEHC NEWS," which deal with education.

EHC Keystone Club member Stephanie DeJesus was selected, through participation in the Latino Outreach Initiative, to meet with Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Stephanie says the conversation concentrated on teens' use of the club and the space devoted to activities. Stephanie and Meagan Gonzalez, also involved in the EHC's Latino Outreach Initiative, taped a commercial about the Initiative for Univision.

The Keystoners also participated in educational opportunities and workshops, hearing a variety of unique speakers. They enjoyed a talented group of actors, performers and artists who took part in the workshops. The conference and recognition was a rewarding opportunity for them and for Midge as well. Perhaps most importantly, they learned that hard work and commitment have great rewards when you follow through! Congratulations to all!

Photo: Two Boys & Girls Club youth (far left and far right) presented an award to Children's Aid Society East Harlem Keystone Club members (left to right) advisor Midge Caparosa, Mikal Edwards, Selia Washington, Michael Medina, Dominique Giordano, center director David Giordano, Meagan Gonzalez and Stephanie DeJesus.