Family is made of people you know you can depend on. That is what Stephanie and Isaac Edwards found when they joined East Dallas Boys & Girls Club.
After separating from her husband and becoming a single parent, Stephanie Edwards was having a tough time securing safe after-school care for her son, Isaac. Luckily, after a staff referral, Ms. Edwards was able to sign Isaac up for a Club membership.
“I didn’t have to worry about a place for Isaac to go after school anymore, even during holidays,” said Ms. Edwards.
This would become only one of the many ways the Edwards would find community and support at East Dallas Boys & Girls Club.
“When I think about East Dallas Boys & Girls Club, it just makes me smile, they’re such a blessing,” said Ms. Edwards, as she recalled the hardship she and her son endured during February this year.
The Edwards lost their home this past winter when pipes froze and burst, flooding their house.
“Isaac must have mentioned that we’d lost our home at the Club because Mr. Dwaylon called me out of the blue.”
Stephanie Edwards then explained that Club Director Dwaylon Whitmore offered to pay two weeks of hotel stay for the family and cover after-school care fees.
“We had all these angels come into our lives and help us,” said Ms. Edwards. “Those angels were Mr. Dwaylon and his staff.”
Safely settled in East Dallas Boys & Girls Club after-school care, Isaac received homework help, new friendships, and mentorship from Club staff and partners.
When asked about his favorite moments at East Dallas Boys & Girls Club, Isaac explained that he loves helping Ms. Hernandez manage the front desk and watching over younger Club members.
“I like being someone they can talk to,” said Isaac. “There’s a girl I know from school that goes here, and she doesn’t like to talk much. It feels good to know that she can express herself to me.”
East Dallas Boys & Girls Club was also able to gift Isaac a dream experience through a photo contest and partnership with Outschool, a nonprofit that offers online classes at no cost, and Stand Together, a philanthropic investment organization. Isaac was able to participate in a four-session bootcamp for photography with Outschool and then test his new skill in a live-action photoshoot with former Dallas Cowboys star Demarcus Ware.
“He gets to call DeMarcus on the phone,” said Ms. Edwards. “He’s like another mentor in Isaac’s life.”
East Dallas Boys & Girls Club has allowed Isaac to move closer to his dream of becoming a photographer, and surrounded the Edwards in a community of support, fulfilling its mission to enable all young people to succeed — whatever it takes.