Hicksville Boys and Girls Club
Nick Singh came to the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club when he was 12. He is 21 now and he has no plans to leave, even though he is heading off to get his bachelor’s degree in youth and family counseling at Nyack College. He is Program Director at the Club; he plans trips, runs activities, implements programs, mentors youth, and orients new parents. Even after starting college, he plans to be at the Club several days a week.
Nick struggled with a difficult family situation as a youngster. The first day he walked into the club, he was nervous and scared. He did not want to be there but then he felt a different energy. Someone invited him outside to play. He was used to being very independent and on his own. “I never used to play with anybody growing up,” he said.
“For the first time in my life I felt at home…The Club pretty much saved my life,” he remembered.
He enjoyed all the activities at the Club. He started volunteering and he became a mentor to other kids, even advising some older than he. “This place allowed me to grow. I grabbed at that leadership role right away,” he said.
Nick was the 2015 Youth of the Year and continues to be a leader. He volunteers for the Make a Wish Foundation and he credits the Club with setting him on a career path to becoming a counselor.
“Places like this have helped me and others. Staff really knows the kids and connects with them,” he noted. “I barely had a home. This place welcomed me with open arms to a new beginning. Some people said it was like my second home. It was more like my first home.”
Sean Joyce is another longtime fan of the Club. He is this year’s Youth of the Year. Currently 17, he started coming to the Club in sixth grade because his best friend attended. He remembers thinking whenever he was coming to the Club, “I knew it would always be a good day.”
Like Nick, he became a leader to the younger kids. He says the Club helped him develop his leadership skills and made him more active in school activities. He is now in jazz band and he feels more focused at school. Now in his senior year, he looks forward to going to college.
The Hicksville Boys and Girls Club is a youth development, recreation, sports and leisure time activity program. Services include an after-school recreation program, one on one tutoring/homework help, employment counseling and training. The program provides young people with structured supervised activities and a motivating environment. For more information, go to: www.hycbgc.com