Salute Our Heroes: A woman loves helping young kids build for their futures

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 9:17 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - A lady at the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan has gone above and beyond in taking care of children’s needs.

Alyssa Baquero was studying human development at Kansas State University when she found her passion.

“I got a job here as a part-time program leader and just kind of stayed along and then a full-time position opened up for unit director so I took that job and then ran my own site with my own kids, my own staff, and my own team which was really cool gave me a lot of leadership experience and now I am director of program so I oversee multiple sites and kind of provide a support system for them,” said Baquero, program director at Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan.

Baquero has a passion for teens and loves helping kids become the person they want to be.

“I have a passion for serving that has been my thing since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to serve in different capacities, especially just youth, and when I got involved with Boys and Girls Club I got really involved with the teen programming and so just helping my high schoolers, my middle schoolers kind of see a future for themselves more than just being stuck in one place but that they have so many available options and opportunities for them and I just want to help them be the person I know that they can be,” said Baquero.

The best part though, according to Baquero, is the kid’s smiles.

“I get a lot of smiles and I actually do get a lot of kids once they’ve graduated high school they actually come back and visit or they come back to work in the summers because they say this was one of the greatest places they have ever been a part of and they actually want to give back to the younger kids cause they remember being there themselves having mentors do the same thing so its really cool kind of watching them smile and grow up and really wanting to give back to their communities after going through Boys and Girls Club,” said Baquero.

The family support is one of the reasons that Alyssa enjoys being around the kids.

“This is such like a family-orientated type of job and so you have so many different levels of support whether its mental health, whether its diversity inclusion of just family engagement there’s everybody here just trying to go work towards the same goal which is serving kids and our families and that’s something that really hits home for me because I come from a really big family and we always around each other, always supporting each other you do everything for your family and that’s same kind of mission we do here is we’re doing everything to help everybody here and I really love the idea of like serving and putting that first,” said Baquero.

Baquero has been with the Boys and Girls Club for 6 years now and she said it is more than just a job for her it is part of her life.