Uniqua Wade, 17, is making her path in life by learning to make a difference.
A junior at the Howard School, she is not only No. 10 in her class of 150 students, she is also the campus Leader of the Month for the Boys and Girls Club of East Lake.
Boys and Girls Club East Lake campus unit manager Necole Mabry said Wade is smart and driven. Wade first stepped foot on the campus when she was an eighth-grader at Orchard Knob Middle School, having been introduced to the club by her best friend because she'd always been interested in helping children.
"I think she will meet all her goals in life," said Mabry of Wade. "She will represent the Boys and Girls Club in the City Wide Teen Youth Council. She is a bright star."
How do you help children at the East Lake Boys and Girls Club?
I help the kids by playing basketball and pool with them and feeding them a snack or talking to them if they need someone to talk to. I really enjoy helping kids, but I don't want my own kids, though.
Why should youth come and hang out at the Boys and Girls Club?
It's better to be here in a safe environment than outside. I would like people to quit hanging out in the streets and come and join the Boys and Girls Club. You can come here, chill and relax.
How often do you come to the Boys and Girls Club?
I'm here Monday, Wednesday and Friday for Career Crunch and Keystone Club. We do career things like going out into the community to check out careers. For Keystone Club we talk about short-term and long-term goals. It helps you think outside the box to talk about what you want to become.
What keeps you coming back to the East Lake Boys and Girls Club?
I like to interact with kids. I help children of all abilities at the Boys and Girls Club.
She said she has enjoyed helping children with learning disabilities ever since elementary school.
Do you want to work with children after graduation?
I want to be a child psychologist when I grow up. One child was running from his parents down the road in Highland Park. I stopped him and ... tried to help him by listening to what he was upset about. I helped him calm down and brought him back to his parents.
How has the Boys and Girls Club helped you in life?
The Boys and Girls Club helped me with my [former] bad attitude. I was a hot head. I've been working on it.