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BGCK Youth of the Year Sent on School Trip Abroad

BGCK Youth of the Year Sent on School Trip Abroad

Kenosha, WI – February 2, 2018 – Last fall, Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha 2017 Youth of the Year, Na’Kia Hughes, came to the Club CEO asking for some help. Hughes was hoping to go on a school trip to Italy and Greece but lacked the funds.

Jake McGhee, BGCK CEO, described his initial response to Hughes, “She is one of our outstanding teens. She’s on the high honor roll, she’s very involved at school and here at the Club. She works and always has such a great attitude. I really wanted to find a way to help her financially, but at the same time, I didn’t want to offer funds for nothing. I told her that if she put in the effort to fundraise on her own, the Club and our supporters would find a way to help as well.”

Sure enough, Hughes raised over $1,400 for the trip herself. After consulting with the Club’s gala committee, it was decided that this opportunity and fundraising ask would be presented to the gala attendees.

The night of the gala, after Na’Kia Hughes gave her speech as the Youth of the Year, Club CEO, Jake McGhee came on stage to tell the crowd of Na’Kia’s hopes to go to Italy and Greece with her school. She had never been on a plane before, let alone outside of the country.

In the blink of an eye, dozens of paddles were raised in the crowd and Na’Kia’s trip was fully funded! She recently got back from the trip and prepared this message for donors:

My trip to Italy and Greece was an amazing and I’m glad I got to experience traveling at a young age! We went to many cities including Rome, Naples, Capri and more, but my favorite was Pompeii. Seeing the ancient Roman town was incredible. The history of how the Romans lived and walking along the same streets where chariots once raced was surreal. I learned that an eruption from a nearby volcano had destroyed most of the city, but it was restored somehow.

For the first few days of our trip we explored Rome and all of the historical ruins it had to offer. I’ve seen the Colosseum and different ruins in history books but it’s even better seeing them in real life. We also went to St. Peter’s Basilica, located in Vatican City, the smallest country in the world! In Vatican City we visited the famous Sistine Chapel where the ceiling is painted by the skilled Michaelangelo! The Sistine Chapel is also seen as a holy place because historically, it is where the next pope is elected. It was really a cool side of history to see! We soon had to end our trip in Italy and head to Greece.

We visited the small town of Delphi first. The people there believe in community and were very friendly. It reminded me of the people here at home. Everyone in Delphi knew of each other and were comfortable with a bunch of tourists asking questions. Delphi was also an important Greek religious sanctuary sacred to the God Apollo. Delphi had many temples where people would go and worship. The ruins were all jaw-dropping buildings that still stand today! Last but not least, we ended our trip in Athens. We learned about the culture through dance and food and our Greek night, where we chanted “OPA!” as we celebrated our last night in the beautiful country of Greece.

Overall, this trip has broadened my horizons and has helped me see that there are other ways to learn, outside from a classroom. From eating the amazing Italian pasta to chowing down on the delicious gyros in Greece, each experience I had really taught me something. Not only did I learn so much on this trip, but it just made me want to travel more. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities brought to me by the Club and the many donors who supported me in going on this trip, so thank you!

– Na’Kia H.

The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is a youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting health, social, educational, vocational, cultural, character and leadership development. The Club helps youth improve their lives by building skills, values and self-esteem. When you support the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, you support the kids who need us the most, and their great futures ahead. Visit to donate today.