Teen Credits Boys & Girls Club For Success

SPOKANE — As thousands of seniors across the Inland Northwest officially end their high school career, a young man from Spokane is especially thankful to one organization.

Daniel Anderson says the Boys and Girls Club of Spokane helped him overcome poverty, drugs and gangs.

The mission of the Boys and Girls Club is to inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential. Eighteen-year-old Daniel Anderson has done just that.

Anderson is a towering presence inside the walls of the club in north central Spokane. The Rogers High School grad has come full circle, from 10-year-old member to an 18-year-old mentor. He says, making the decision to join the club, saved his life. He’s not sure where he would be without the club.

“I don’t know, probably not here,” he says. “I don’t want to think about it.”

In the kids he now mentors, Anderson says he sees himself. Many face the same obstacles he did growing up, drugs, alcohol, gangs and negative influences from friends

Anderson says his father left his mom when he was very young, and at times he felt like giving up. Spending his time at the club was his way of staying on the right path.

“It will change your life,” Anderson says. “I mean, if you notice your kids are having problems, this is the place you should definitely send them get them on the right track.”

“He’s a wonderful example,” says Ryan Davenport, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Spokane. “He shows other kids you can work hard and be successful and make positive choices in your life and do whatever it is you dream, and for Daniel it’s attending college and hopefully coaching basketball.”

Anderson will head off to Eastern Washington University in the fall. The former Rogers star, hopes his 6-4 frame will land him a walk-on spot with the Eagles basketball team. But wherever the ball bounces, Anderson knows he will be a success.

“The staff here will teach you the things that you need to do to be a great citizen,” he says, “and help you take the next step in your life, no matter, like from kindergarten to senior in high school, they’ll help you get to it. All you have to do is ask.”

The cost to join the Boys and Girls Club is just $10, and that covers an entire year.