Behind 17-year-old Alexis’ shy smile is a poised confidence many teens don’t possess. One of the first to join the South Side Boys & Girls Club, Alexis plays on the volleyball team, is a junior staff member and participates in the Club’s leadership program. She’s a role model who has testified at the Statehouse regarding a subject she is passionate about—the youth program that transformed her life. Three years ago, Alexis was headed down a different path. She was a fighter with a bad attitude who didn’t care about school and was suspended multiple times. The Club, she says, changed her behavior and kept her off the streets, away from the drugs, gangs and violence in her neighborhood. “I feel like I have purpose,” Alexis says. “I don’t know what I would do without the Club.”

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