Sydney's Story: Learning to Make SMART Choices

Making safer and healthier environments for kids

Together, We Can

Building a strong community that takes care of everyone who lives here depends on your generous support.

Sydney participated in the Boys & Girls Club SMART program for girls to learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle as she grows up.

During an after-school session, a staff member noticed that Sydney was not acting like herself, and asked to speak with her after the session. The staff member discovered that Sydney was being harassed by a male student at school. Not only was he saying things like, “If you really loved me, you’d come to my house instead of going to the Club,” but he even tried to kiss Sydney and make other inappropriate advances. Despite Sydney’s refusals, the boy continued to make her feel frightened and uncomfortable.

The staff member encouraged her to take action to stop the harassment by talking to her father, who in turn spoke with the school principal. The boy faced consequences for his actions.

With the encouragement of an adult, Sydney was able to apply the skills she learned when she needed them most and now she is armed with the ability to make smart decisions that keep her and her friends safer.

Sydney’s father is very grateful that his daughter participated in the SMART program and has a safe place to go after school. As a single father, he sometimes finds it challenging to teach and counsel Sydney about issues that pertain to her sexuality and health.

All it takes is one SMART decision to maintain safer and healthier environments for kids. 

Without United Way donors, youth success programs, like SMART, would not exist to help children positively grow in their environment. We appreciate your support in helping us support a network of quality education, health and financial stability programs in Northwest Indiana for all residents.

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