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When you get down to what really matters, the Stateline Boys and Girls Clubs is an opportunity – an opportunity to make a difference that changes a life forever. . .

. . .From many perspectives, James Brooks (pictured center) hasn’t had an easy childhood. When he was 10-years-old, his parents divorced and James and his mom moved from their home in Mississippi to Little Rock, Ark., while his dad moved to Illinois. In Little Rock, he continues to live with the influences of gangs, drugs and violence right outside his door. He could very easily take the wrong path in life. But, thanks to the positive influences James found at the South Beloit Boys & Girls Club each summer, he is headed in the right direction.

"I started going to the South Beloit Club during the summers when I visited my dad,” James said. "The staff there taught me leadership and teamwork, and kept me disciplined, which I needed. From their example I learned to surround myself with positive influences.”

James, now 15-years-old and a straight-A student, concentrates on school and immerses himself in music with realistic plans of becoming a recording artist. "I want to make something of my life so I can help my mom [financially],” James said.

James continues to visit his dad in Illinois each summer and spends time volunteering at the Clubs. "I want to give back because I have gotten so much,” he added.

James' story is just one of the many success stories the Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs has accumulated over the last 50 years. At the Clubs, and in cooperation with the area schools, we serve more than 2,000 children annually with quality supervised programs. Our motto, A Positive Place for Kids, reflects the "safe place” the Clubs provide for kids who often come from very difficult environments—either at home or in their neighborhoods — that may include drugs and/or violence. We also recognize that all children face challenges and temptations every day. Many times a child just needs to be given guidance to help them make good choices and the Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs do just that.But, we can’t do it alone. We depend on the support of the community to continue to touch the lives of children.

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