Ryan's Story: SPARK launches a star

Dedication. Improvement. Encouragement.

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8-year old Ryan, a member of the South Haven Boys & Girls Club, dreams of being a basketball star. He can often be found practicing his skills in the Club’s gym. Thanks to the SPARK, an after-school physical activity program, Ryan has been able to improve his basketball skills and overcome challenges with the guidance of dedicated staff.

Before participating in the SPARK Program, Ryan often left the Club gym feeling frustrated. His small size made it difficult to keep up with his peers. Necessary tasks like dribbling and shooting were particularly challenging for Ryan. But, he proved his dedication to the sport when he jumped at the chance to join the SPARK program. The pre-testing was more challenging than Ryan had expected, but SPARK staff reminded him that this was the first step in becoming a better basketball player.

Over the course of the ten-week program, Ryan’s basketball skills improved, and so did his attitude. Not only was he getting better at the game, but he was becoming more positive; instead of getting upset when something went wrong, Ryan would simply try again. He always gave it his all, no matter what task was at hand.

All of Ryan’s hard work and the staff’s encouragement really paid off. Ryan was able to participate in the Robbie Hummel Basketball Camp, where he continued to excel. Not only was Ryan able to overcome challenges, but he is now one step closer to achieving his dream of being a professional basketball player. He is excited to play in the South Haven Boys & Girls Club’s Winter Basketball League.

Without United Way donors, programs like SPARK would not exist to help children reach their full potential. We appreciate your support in helping us provide quality education, health and financial stability programs in Northwest Indiana for all residents.

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