Karina was very young when she and her brothers started going to Boys & Girls Clubs of Mason Valley. When she came here, she felt lonely and as if she didn’t fit in because she had a hard time speaking to others. The staff took their time to help teach her and help her with her confidence and soon she was off making friends and helping staff. 

    When middle school hit, unfortunately, Karina was met with bullies. They picked on her insecurities and made her feel small. She was having a hard time smiling and eating. When she was able to come over to the Teen Center, she felt safe and valued. The staff here gave her trust to carry out important tasks like attendance, programming, and kitchen help, but she also went out of her way to make other members feel welcome and know what to do. She met staff who cared about her day and wanted to make sure she knew her smile was beautiful and that having a healthy relationship with food was so important to her health. The Club gave her a place to escape the bullies at school and also get her prepared for her future jobs and schooling. 

    Karina is currently the Keystone president. Keystone is a club that focuses heavily on community service, college, job preparation, character, and leadership building. You can always find Karina working her hardest at whatever task is given to her, always smiling, and making sure the rest of the keystone members are doing okay. She works at the Yerington Movie House and is a valued member and staff here at Boys & Girls Clubs of Mason Valley. She stands up for what is right and is quick to give her love and support to anyone who might be having a bad day, getting bullied, or just needs a little help. 

    “By coming to the Boys & Girls Club, I have acquired many different strengths,” Karina said. “Some of the strengths I have acquired are communication, leadership, and teamwork. When I look back on my pathway and the memories I have made here, I am amazed at how much the Club has helped me throughout my life.”