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  • Fairbury News staff

Youth speak at breakfast

A crowd attends Wednesday's Great Futures Breakfast in Fairbury.

A great day starts with breakfast and a great future starts with the Boys & Girls Club.

Community members received an update on the Boys & Girls Club of Livingston County during Wednesday’s “Great Futures Breakfast” at the Indian Creek Country Club in Fairbury.

After an early morning of networking and breakfast, a video was presented along with a robot demonstration by members of the Wi-Fighters Team who will be competing nationally in robotics later this month.

Junior Youth of the Year Aubrey enjoys the club since she gets to be herself. She hopes to someday be a junior staff member to help out.

“I like helping a lot,” Aubrey said.

Youth of the Year Jasmine, who is an eighth grader at Prairie Central Junior High, shared what the club means to her, as she started volunteering a few months ago. She told her life story, which wasn’t always pleasant, but acknowledged a sense of belonging with the organization.

“I went because it was the place I felt the most safe and could really be myself,” Jasmine explained.

Any time she had a bad day, the kids and staff would help lift her spirits and she made several new friends through the Boys & Girls Club.

“It’s my safe place. It’s my escape from reality.”

Boys & Girls Club of Livingston County board president Sue Popejoy could not imagine what life would be like without the club. She has noticed positive changes during her years with the organization.

“Every program has its cost and this money is a way for us to invest in the youth,” said Popejoy. “There are more youth that need a safe place to go in our community.”

Popejoy thanked all of the sponsors for investing in the youth who she said could someday be our teachers, doctors and lawyers.

CEO Jodi Martin noted the positive impact of the Boys & Girls Club on kids. Martin shared her childhood story which includes going to an orphanage and being in foster care before she was adopted as a teenager. Martin recalled a young couple taking a financial risk that is worth it.

“I’m here before you today because they saved my life.”

All locations for the Boys & Girls Club of Livingston County serve 4,201 total youth with sites in Pontiac, Fairbury, Chatsworth, Chenoa, Forrest, Streator, Flanagan and Pontiac Junior High School. The mission is to enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.

Three priority outcomes for the club include academic success, character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles. According to information provided at Wednesday’s breakfast, more than 90 percent of the youth involved feel they can stand up for what is right even when friends disagree. Also, 88 percent of the youth stated they don’t give up, even when something is really hard.

More information can be found at, by contacting the Pontiac location at 815-842-3089 or the Fairbury location at 815-692-2423.

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