The Boys & Girls Club (BGC) of Huntington County revealed new renovations to the teen center on Thursday, July 15. Aaron’s, a corporate sponsor of BGC, supplied the second “refresh” for the teen center, the first being about five years ago. This is the first time Aaron’s has ever done a “refresh” twice in one BGC location.
For this round of renovations, Aaron’s provided new furniture and technology for the teen center to help the teens do their homework and have a place to hang out with friends.
Program Director of BGC of Huntington County Desiree Frederick expressed her appreciation during the unveiling.
“First of all, thank you Aaron’s… This is amazing that our teen center has received not one, but two refreshes and the things that it can do for our members is tremendous,” Frederick said. “Five years ago, Aaron’s and BGC invested, not just in our teen center, but into our teens and our community and we are so thankful for that.”
Along with giving the teen center an update, Aaron’s also provided their first ever “personal refresh” to Keystone Club President Caden Searles.
Searles was presented with a room and office makeover for his home, along with school supplies, a printer, a television, Beats headphones and more to help him with his college years. Aaron’s also gave Searles a $3,000 transportation grant for when he starts commuting to Ivy Tech in the fall.
Searles has been a member of BGC for 10 years. He started coming with his sister because his mother couldn’t afford to pay babysitters. He has been a club member ever since.
“The club has been a second home for me and Aaron’s support of the Keystone Club has helped me grow into the person and leader I am today,” Searles said.
During his time with the club, Searles has put in 800 hours of community service.
“I think helping out your community is one of the biggest things you can do as a highschooler,” Searles said.
“Caden was one of those kids five years ago who took the opportunities that Aaron’s helped our teen center have and run with them and we have seen him do amazing things. Caden set high goals for his junior and senior year of high school,” Frederick said. “He wanted to get accepted into college. He did. He wanted to earn scholarships. He did. He wanted to finally be Youth of the Year after trying for years. And he wanted to continue our club’s legacy to be part of the steering committee and he did all of those things and he’s rocked it.”
Searles graduated from Huntington North High School this year and plans to major in business and entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech. He eventually wants to design his own clothing brand.
When speaking of the leadership at BGC, Searles said, “They are truly a blessing and life changers. Honestly, if I wasn’t here… I don’t know where I’d be, but I certainly wouldn’t be the person that I am today.”