Whatever It Takes… to be a HERO


We ask our Members: Do you have what it takes to be a HERO?

The HERO Challenge stands for "Helping Each Other Realize Opportunities," and it combines group and individualized mentoring to at-risk youth. Throughout the week, these HEROs engage in fun group activities to foster teamwork, confidence, compassion, a sense of identity and community. They meet one-on-one with mentors and Club leaders dedicated to doing whatever it takes to keep them on a positive path.

Since the program was reintroduced in 2016, it's made a remarkable difference. These HEROs report strong, positive relationships with mentoring adults, sometimes for the first time in their lives. Our staff sees negative behaviors decreasing, and grades are going up. Both the young men and ladies who are involved in this program demonstrate more self-control, self-esteem and social skills. What was once a challenging group of youth have become the true HEROs of our Clubs.

Our measurable outcomes have also far exceeded our expectations. We set a goal for 85% of participating Members to complete the program, but 100% did. An impressive 91% of our HEROs participated in civic engagement or community service this year. Mentoring has also be a measurable result: 100% of the participating Club Members say they have a positive relationship with our staff (15% stronger than our original goal). And finally, their parents are grateful. Based on a survey, 100% of parents of program participants say they've seen a change in behavior at home.

Our BGCMC Staff Hero...

Genaris Haston joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County in 2014. His experience working with some of our community’s most challenged youth as a Corrections Officer, Counselor and Mentor matched perfectly our need for a Prevention Director for a new program called the HERO (Helping Each Other Realize Opportunities) Challenge. HERO pairs local youth with Club staff trained to provide them with extra personal attention and guidance to assist them in overcoming personal challenges and achieve success in all aspects of their lives. Youth are referred to HERO by Club staff or their families and often HERO is their last chance to course correct behavior patterns that lead to continuing negative behaviors or worse.

We invite you to learn about Genaris here.