Kacey’s Story

A change for the better

Boys & Girls Club provides a safe haven.

Kacey was a high school student living with her mom in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Early on, she had a difficult time adjusting to high school and fell in with the wrong crowd. She started pushing limits, cutting class, fought verbally with her mother and became a juvenile offender. Then Kacey found the Boys and Girls Club.

At the Boys and Girls Club, she participated a United Way-supported program that helps juvenile offenders learn how to make positive choices and stay out of trouble. “I made some mistakes. I knew it wasn’t me. But I wanted to fit in,” she said.   “It’s different here. This is a safe haven where it’s cool to be yourself,” she says. “It was mind opening when I got here. This has changed me for the better.”

Kacey is now a high school senior at Hill House Passport Charter School, also a United Way partner. She participates in student activities, maintains excellent grades and attendance, and plans to pursue a college degree. She now works at Boys and Girls Club, where she mentors younger kids. She realizes that, without United Way’s support, she could have gone down a very different path: “I’ve learned to take responsibility, to stop and think about whether I’m making the best choices. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I hadn’t come here.”