March 2017 Youth of the Month Announcements

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wichita Falls is proud to announce January Youths of the Month. Ella Parker, of the Southeast Branch, is the Kiwanis Club of Wichita Falls Youth of the Month. Allissa Bratton, of the Southeast Branch, is the Optimist Club of Wichita Falls Youth of the Month. Amari Martin, of the Southwest Branch, is the Rotary Club of Wichita Falls Youth of the Month.

The Kiwanis Club of Wichita Falls sponsors ages 6-8. Optimist of Wichita Falls sponsors ages 9-11. Rotary Club of Wichita Falls sponsors ages 12-18.

Interviewers, Lisa Stephens/ Musik (Rotary Club of Wichita Falls) and Patrick Martin (Optimist Club of Wichita Falls) considered the following categories while selecting the City Wide Youths of the Month:

  1. Home & Family involvement
  2. Community contributions
  3. Academic achievements
  4. Boys & Girls Club participation
  5. Spiritual values

Nominees for the Kiwanis Division included:

  • Cartel Whitlow, Rosewood Branch
  • Donyae Bryant Northeast Branch
  • Tariq Bowens, Northwest Branch
  • Malorie Compton, Southwest Branch
  • Ella Parker, Southeast Branch
  • Miranda Escobedo, Central Branch

Nominees for the Optimist Division included:

  • Dazarean Mitchell, Rosewood Branch
  • Christopher Williams, Northeast Branch
  • Severn Cudjo, Northwest Branch
  • Xavier Montano, Southwest Branch
  • Allissa Bratton, Southeast Branch
  • KeyJeannae Oliphant Central Branch

Nominees for the Rotary Division included:

  • Brandon Evans, Rosewood Branch
  • Terrance Williams, Northeast Branch
  • Nadir Senghor, Northwest Branch
  • Amari Martin Southwest Branch
  • Eric Williams, Southeast Branch
  • Alexis Johnson Central Branch

Generous sponsors include:  Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and Times/Record News

Ella Parker is the 8-year-old daughter of Jennifer Rives. She has two sisters. Ella attends the Southeast Branch Club where Ms. Joycelyn Downing is Club Director.

Ella enjoys helping out around the house. She also takes pride in keeping her room clean and organized. Ella helps in the kitchen with meal preparations and does her part with yard work and taking care of the family pet.

As a 3rd grader at Fain Elementary, Ella is proud of her A/B average. She says math class is her favorite class and school is important because “we get to learn stuff that we don’t know”. She works hard to make her family proud of her.

The Boys & Girls Club affords Ella with many opportunities to have fun. She enjoys drawing and reading as well as participating in Learning Center activities. She is in Club Tech, Triple Play Challenges and has been nominated for previous Youth of the Month awards.

Club Director Joycelyn Downing said, “Ella is upbeat all of the time and always willing to help around the Club!”

Allissa Bratton is the 10-year-old daughter of stepfather Jeremy and mother Jennifer Ramey. She has two sisters and three brothers. Allissa helps out around the house, in the yard, and keeps her room cleaned. She has even been known to wash dishes after meals! Allissa also takes out the trash and does her part in caring for the family pet.

Allissa is a 5th grade student at Cunningham where she maintains a 2.5 or better grade point average. She says Social Science is her favorite subject. She is a member of the Book Club and volunteers for the Safety Patrol. Allissa believes school is important because “it teaches you about life & new things you have not tried”. She wants to be a lawyer after graduating from Fresno State University.

Allissa’s home club is the Southeast Branch where Ms. Joycelyn Downing is Club Director. Allissa is a six month veteran of the Southeast Boys & Girls Club. During her time at the club she has been very active in various areas in and out of the club. Allissa is a participant in the Club’s Photography Program and consistently participates in Power Hour, Arts & Crafts, and Club Tech. She enjoys being a part of Smart Girls and Triple Play Challenges as well.

Allissa is very community involved through her Church membership at Falls Pointe Church and volunteers passing out awards and trophies for her dad at car shows in Nocona Texas. Â

Education Director Ms. Horner said, “Allissa shares ideas and socializes with everyone!”

Amari Martin is a member of the Southwest Branch of the Boys & Girls Club where Ms. Tori Smith is Director. Amari is the son of Staci Bailey. He has a two sisters whose ages are 14 and 19.

Amari is a 9th grader at Rider High School and his favorite subject is Math. He hopes to become a Zoologist after attending the University of Kentucky. He believes school is important because “it teaches you about the real world”.

Amari has been a member of Heritage Assembly of God Church for the past seven years. He has also recently participated in Teens Make a Difference Day Events helping the less fortunate in our community.

Amari has been going to the Boys & Girls Club since he was six years old and has experience in all areas of the Club. Some of his favorite programs are Arts & Crafts, Junior Staff, and Passport to Manhood. He is currently serving as Historian for the Keystone Club and has previously been selected as a Youth of the Month. His is a gym helper during basketball season running the score board for games and helping to clean up before and after games.

Club Director Tori Smith said, “Amari has really turned himself around as he has matured into quite a leader in the Club.”

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About Craig Buckmore

I started with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wichita Falls in November of 2000. At the time I had not worked for a non-profit and the organization had no formal IT plan. During my time with the organization, I have learned a lot about the non-profit sector and created a formal plan and direction for the organization. I have been working to create new ways to keep the members engaged with the organization leveraging existing and in some cases technology under development all while keeping costs as low as possible.

I enjoy working with all aspects of technology from hardware, software, programming, team building, training, professional networking, and systems engineering. I am not a specialist in any one discipline but focus on finding or building technologies to further the organization while keeping the larger picture in mind. To that end, I never see an IT system as static but ever evolving and always in need of improvement.