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Westbank Club member awarded $100,000 Scholarship from Beyonce and Jay Z

We are so excited and proud to announce that one of our own members, 17 year old Ghaffar Ibn-Hayman from our Westbank Club, was just awarded a $100,000 Scholarship from Beyonce and Jay Z at their OTR II show last night in New Orleans!

Ghaffar came to Boys & Girls Clubs during the summer of his 10th grade year of High School in which he was suffering with very low grades. He was a very shy, silent kid with few friends. He was dealing with the death of his best friend (earlier that year) and was not interested in making any new ones. He didn’t believe that he had a voice because he felt that no one would listen. Ghaffar had very little reason to smile. His mentor, Mr. Derek (Westbank Program Director), suggested that he join the Club to stay active and perhaps make friends.

Ghaffar joined the role of Jr. Staff and made friends quickly. He took leadership roles in peer assistance and community service projects and really began to enjoy being around the younger Club members and his peers. His grades have improved significantly. He currently has a 3.5 GPA.

Ghaffar is now one of our most influential teens, and he makes time to participate in all our the teen activities. He has also been instrumental in helping to recruit more teens to join the program. Ghaffar recently lost another close friend of his to a brain aneurism. He has found strength in being at the Club and encouragement from the staff, especially Mr. Derek. Mr. Derek mentioned that he hadn’t seen Ghaffar smile in a long time until he got to Boys & Girls Clubs. The Club has given Ghaffar the gift of friendship, confidence, belonging, and direction.

Ghaffar hopes to attend the University of California-Davis and Cornell University. He aspires to be a veterinarian, travel the world, and experience different cultures.

Thanks to you -- our Board, our Staff and our supporters – we will continue to have great stories to tell. When someone asks, “Why the Boys & Girls Clubs?” tell them so kids like Ghaffar not only get the chance to dare to dream, they can get to realize their dreams. These are the stories that tell what a difference being part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana can make in a child’s life. The work we do, the influence we have, the guidance and support we offer truly does ensure that GREAT FUTURES START HERE.

Watch Ghaffar’s reaction when it was announced at last night’s concert.

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