When Audrey Arroyave was 10, she helped deliver cookies with her Brownie troop to Boys and Girls Country. While they were here, they spent some time in one of the girls’ cottages. This short visit impacted Audrey deeply and led her to become a youth ambassador to support some of those very same girls seven years later. “I remember thinking how all of the girls I met were just like me, and if they went to my school we would probably even be friends,” Audrey recalls about her visit.
“Even as a little girl, I couldn’t get over how sad it was to know they didn’t have a family like I did. But their teaching parents were so nice, and it just made me feel so much better knowing they were at least being loved by someone and raised in a nice home with someone to support them.”
Audrey is a 17-year-old at Cy Fair High school, active in band, key club, and the Science National Honors Society. As if that doesn’t keep her plenty busy, she reached out to Boys and Girls Country just before Christmas to see what she could do to help. “Volunteering has been difficult because of the pandemic, but I just knew there had to be a way I could help.”
Audrey helped us launch a new peer-to-peer program by volunteering to fundraise for our kids. She set up her own fundraising page and sent the link to friends and family who supported her effort.
“I had never heard of a peer-to-peer campaign, but it was super easy to set up and so easy for the donors as well. Even my grandparents who are not tech savvy at all were able to figure it out without any problems. I asked friends to donate instead of giving me gifts for my birthday, sent the link to my band’s ‘Group Me’ list and even posted it on the Nextdoor app. I was amazed by the response. Even strangers commented that they had been looking for ways to help out kids in our own community, but couldn’t because of COVID. I was unsure about setting a goal of $1,000 to raise in just a few weeks. But people are so good and want to help; they just need to know how. Reading their comments and watching donations come in was amazing.”
Audrey is an inspirational young woman who has a giving and passionate heart. Youth ambassadors are truly our hope for the future, and we’ve been blessed to have her share her passion to support our kids at BGC.
“Young people have a lot more influence than they realize. We are more connected than ever before. It’s important to help the community, and the ‘connectedness’ we share today gives us an influence that other groups have never had,” Audrey shared. When asked what message she has for peers who want to help others in need, she replied without hesitation, “What I think holds them back is thinking they’ll fail or not meet their goal. I say go for it! Any effort can still make a difference and is better than no effort at all. And you just might be shocked. I couldn’t believe something so easy to create could make such a difference.”
Audrey says her spirit and passion for others comes from her mother. “My mom is amazing,” she shared. “She has always given me so much of her wisdom, has always been there and taught me how important it is to help others. She’s a great mom and I just love her so much.”
The love Audrey received as a child has come full circle in her desire to help others. If you have love to share with kids in need this Valentine’s Day, please follow the link and sign up to be an ambassador just like Audrey. Together we can ensure that every child has a place to grow up in a loving and nurturing home.