2019-01-24 – BGCD Annual Report Photoshoot 134

As an elementary student, Bilal was bullied at school and in his neighborhood. Those experiences left him angry, and in response, he often found himself in fights.

When Bilal began attending the Roseland Boys & Girls Club when it first opened in 2011, he brought that aggression with him.

“Bilal was really struggling with his emotions. He had a hard time controlling his temper,” said Roseland Club Program Coordinator, Everett Allen.

But around middle school, Bilal realized he was headed down the wrong path and began making a change. He started by taking full advantage of the Club and became involved in programs like Passport to Manhood.

“I have a passion for learning things that are actually helpful,” said Bilal. “I really liked the Passport program and even the history lessons that we received after school.”

Through a combination of programming, staff support, and exposure to different ways of thinking, Bilal transformed into a calm, inquisitive kid.

Now a junior in high school, Bilal still attends the Roseland Club, all while juggling school work and cross country running practice.

“He’s a completely different kid now,” said Allen. “He made a 180-degree transformation.”