Pictured with Jory is his friend Melvina. You can read how her life was impacted by after school here.
Jory found himself at after school
“After school programs helped me decide what I’m going to be in life. I want to work with kids, be a good brother, and have an influence on people who need help.”
Throughout his entire life, Jory, now 17, has been involved with after school programs. As a kid, he didn’t realize the impact these experiences had, but looking back now, he knows the friends he made and the adults that taught him in after school shaped who he is today.
His first after school experience was with the Beverly Jewel Wall Lovelace Children’s Program (BJWL) – a United Way APOST quality campaign member – in the Hill District. “I had just moved to the Hill District, and I didn’t know anyone,” Jory said. “The after school program helped me make new friends and break out of my shell, and my mom knew that I was in a safe place.”
During his middle school years, he attended Higher Achievement’s after school program – a United Way funded APOST agency. “I made a family there, and I learned a lot about myself and who I want to be,” Jory recalled.
Now, Jory is a Reading Warrior at Neighborhood Learning Alliance, another United Way partner, where he is helping younger kids learn the value of after school programs. “The kids look up to me, and I’m there to help them with homework or any problems they might be facing. I’ve been in their shoes, working through issues with friends and problems in class,” Jory explained. “I’ve even encouraged my younger brother to attend after school programs and set goals – just like the kids I’m helping as a Reading Warrior.”
Through all of these experiences, Jory has learned that his education is important – he’s applying for college now and hopes to major in psychology. Not only that, he has gained confidence and leadership skills.
“I have always enjoyed the after school environment. I’m able to give and get help,” Jory said. “After school programs have made a difference in my life.”
To learn more about United Way’s Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time visit https://uwswpa.org/apost/.