"Not only did the Boys and Girls Clubs change my life, but they also changed everything in the process. I am no longer the kid I used to be and I appreciate their support,” said Treshon, a member of Boy & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County’s Comin’ Up gang intervention program. “They have changed my bad habits into good ones. Instead of being destructive and self-conscious, I am a creative and positive person and will always continue to be so."
Seventeen-year-old Treshon vividly remembers his mother’s daily warning to get inside the house before dark, because “that’s when the shootings started.” Born and raised in public housing on the east side of Fort Worth, Treshon says he felt the danger of his neighborhood as a young boy. He had family involved in gangs, and his mother became fearful he would follow down that same path.
Treshon’s mother worked hard to relocate her family so that he could be exposed to other opportunities. Treshon himself was determined to break the cycle of danger and violence, refusing to end up incarcerated or even dead like some of his friends and family. And although he couldn’t escape all of the negative influences that surrounded him, he found a safe place in the Boys and Girls Club.
Comin’ Up has made a great difference in the lives of hundreds of kids like Treshon. The program serves more than 800 gang-involved youth between the ages of 13-24 years old in Fort Worth communities. In partnership with the City of Fort Worth, the program provides needs-based services and activities in an effort to reduce gang violence and influence positive change.
Comin' Up members benefit from career, education and life guidance programs that offer real solutions to difficult situations. Open late at night in hard to reach communities, Comin’ up has a strong staff team, trained to support young people who realize they need a second chance and also work collaboratively with the court system, police, and educational partners.
“Every kid in this country, no matter what circumstances they were born into, deserves a chance to have a great future,” said Daphne Barlow Stigliano, CEO and President of BGCGTC. “It is our privilege and solemn responsibility to make this future available to as many young people as we can reach.”
Positive mentors from Comin’ Up have opened up opportunities that have given Treshon the tools and direction to lead a better life. Through the Club, he participated in Building Industry Leaders, a program that partners Club members with professionals from the Urban Land Institute North Texas to teach leadership skills, open career paths and provide scholarships. Treshon also participated in pre-college programs at the Club, Educational Talent Search and the R.E.A.L. Apprenticeship, which supported him with academic advising, college guidance and exposure to 21st-century career experiences. Comin’ Up even showed Treshon the joy and satisfaction that comes from giving back to his community, with service projects like Graffiti Abatement, feeding the homeless, Trinity Trash Bash, and Cowtown Cleanup, to name a few. Last fall, Treshon was named Member of the Year at the Comin' Up Life Change Banquet. Currently, the Club is providing him with resources to take the next big step for his future: applying to college. His first choice is the University of North Texas where he plans to double major in civil engineering and history.
Thousands of youth like Treshon depend on Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County every single day to receive the mentorship, resources, and support they need in order to escape the poverty and crime that surrounds them. At BGCGTC, we do whatever it takes to ensure that the opportunity to have a great future is provided to all children in our community.