Ricky is a very quiet young man. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, every time I did home visits I would ask about Ricky. The BGC Yazoo Club has 4 out of the 6 children in this family. Destiny who is five can start coming in October. Jamar who just turned 3 will be able to come in less than 3 years. Ricky is their uncle.
When Covid hit in March 2020, I was doing a home visit which we also call "Wellness Checks". Members missed the snacks from the Club. During their next visit, I bought them some healthy snacks. Their mom works at Nissan in Canton and their dad is a “jack of all trade” working a variety of jobs.
When their grandmother passed away I took the family pizza. The mom was making funeral arrangements and didn't have to worry about feeding her children.
Ricky is already a leader at the Club and teaches a one-hour class on bike maintenance. Everyone had to research using iPad and Chrome books, and put together a short speech. I looked up and saw Ricky’s pictures and he was writing his speech. I asked him “how did you get my printer to print from your iPad?”
Puzzled by my question Ricky looked up at me and said “I didn't.” He had drawn his own pictures. I was surprised by how detailed his drawings were.
The next day he asks for tools to do his presentation on bike maintenance. He kept the members interested. His favorite part was when I told him to draw from the list of boys participating in the class. He scrambled up their names in his cap and pulled out a single name. It was an exciting moment for all the boys as one of them got to keep the bike.
Ricky and his friend Lane (who has become our computer guy) lead a robotics project for Club members. They set up a racetrack for the members to compete.
Lane loves our new 3-D printer. Ricky said “I can do that too!” and they both did 3-D printer projects and ENJOYED IT. I had no idea. I thought it was over the member’s head. Ricky and Lane are both planning on helping others learn to use the 3-D printer this fall during our afterschool program.
Ricky, the quiet guy in the corner, was full of surprises. He is so smart!! When I ask him how he knew how to operate the 3-D printer? He said he “Googled it and thought one day I am going to get a chance to use one” and this summer he did.
From our Walmart donation, I gave him a box of 24 colored pencils, a box of No. 2 pencils, and three drawing tablets and told him, "I believe in You".
Ricky is hooked on the BGC Yazoo Club. He said he is coming back this fall. Our Teen Center is growing!! BGC of Yazoo City is growing! We are looking forward to great things this fall!
- By Yazoo City Unit Director, Judy Ables