Boys and Girls Club

New Year
Middlebury Schools Police Officer Jeremy Shotts was one of four law enforcement officers to visit the Boys & Girls Club and answer questions posed by the teens.

Each new year brings a new set of resolutions and goals for the 12 months ahead. It is the one time of year that we all stop to reflect and plan for strengthening ourselves, our communities, our faith, the list goes on…While some may alter their resolution with each new year, at the Boys & Girls Club our New Year’s resolution is always the same – to serve youth and families better than the year before, to touch more lives, and to enrich our community in a meaningful way.
It’s resolutions like these that fuel programs like our teen leadership group, Keystone Club. Like the organization as a whole, Keystone Club seeks to serve the community and impact those around them in a positive way. The teens who participate in Keystone Club take part in brainstorming, planning, and executing projects related to academic success, character development and service to the community.
This winter, the Middlebury Keystone Club took their leadership to the next level and hosted the first-ever teen-led dialogue with local law enforcement. This dialogue allowed teens and local law enforcement to come together, ask questions of one another, and most importantly, build trust.
“It’s so important to us that the youth we serve have positive interactions and relationships with law enforcement,” says Rhonda Eicher, teen services coordinator for the club. “And it’s important to our teens that they have the opportunity to talk with officers and break down walls that might exist because of misperceptions or fear.”
Though the dialogue was a first for the Boys and Girls Club, Keystone Club hopes to host more opportunities for youth and law enforcement to come together and build relationships.

Middlebury Schools Police Officer Jeremy Shotts listens as a teen at the Boys & Girls Club asks a question during a teen-led discussion at the club.

“There doesn’t need to be any prejudice against law enforcement and there definitely doesn’t need to be prejudice against any groups of teens,” stated Keystone member Julia Mumford, reflecting on her thoughts about the dialogue.
And it’s meaningful events like these that will help ensure that reality.