Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas
Syretha Shirley has faced challenges that most 16-year-olds cannot imagine. She grew up without her biological mother and was raised by her great-grandmother until she got sick and could no longer care for her. With her biological mother and father facing personal challenges, Syretha developed trust issues. Without positive role models to guide her, she began writing as an emotional outlet. Syretha says, “My challenges made me independent and strong. I decided to take the path to success.”
But Syretha didn’t get there alone; she moved to Las Vegas with her godmother and began her journey there. Syretha joined the Boys & Girls Club to become more social. She is a member of the Keystone Club, which focuses on leadership, academic success, career preparation and community service. Syretha is also part of the Leaders in Training group, gaining practical experiences through volunteer work. Through the College Bound program, she has had the opportunity to tour several colleges and universities. With an undeniable passion for volunteering, Syretha is the “go-to Club member” whom the staff looks to for help. She loves to lend a hand where needed and jokes that helping out at the Club is her first job.
Syretha first became involved in the Money Matters: Make It CountSM program through the encouragement of her Club Teen Director. The biggest lesson she says she’s learned is the ability to distinguish between wants and needs. When Syretha heard about the Money Matters Music Mogul contest, she was thrilled to write about something that had potential to make a difference. “To have this experience is great, and I’m so shocked that it’s me who won! I want to make things better for others and if I can do that through this contest, that’s all that really matters.”
A sophomore in high school, Syretha dreams of attending the University of Southern California and eventually becoming a psychologist and published author. She wants to help other people who have experienced adversity in their lives.