At age four, Jaylen was diagnosed with autism. His mom, Jessica, wanted him to have a place where he felt safe and able to be himself. So four years ago, he came to the Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County’s after-school program.

Jaylen’s greatest challenges are communicating and social interaction.

Through his years at the Club and involvement in the after-school, summer camp, and teen club programs, Jaylen has built a support system of peers and adults and has had opportunities he wouldn’t have had otherwise. He met the mayor and accepted an award on the Club’s behalf, went to an Orioles game, performed on stage at the Weinberg, and got to go on countless other field trips over time. While Jaylen was having fun and making life-long friends, Jessica felt confident each day knowing that he was part of a program designed to provide a stable environment where he would grow and succeed.

The Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County serves the kids and teens of Frederick by building deeply powerful relationships and opening avenues of opportunity. No matter why they enter a Club, young people leave with the knowledge that the club experience provides a fun, safe space, and a fostering environment where they can be who they are and become who they were meant to be.

Jaylen is delightful young man. As much as the Club is a support system for him and his mom, he has always been a bright spot in the day of the staff and volunteers. He always came in with a smile, and sometimes a dance, eager to see us and tell us about his day. Jaylen graduated from high school in the spring, which means he has aged out of the Boys & Girls Club programs. We all celebrated his achievement – and luckily, he will be attending the SUCCESS program in the fall which runs in the same building as our newest Club! His goal, and his mom’s, is for Jaylen to come back to the Club as a staff member. And we will work hard to make that happen.

Boys & Girls Club members are members for life. We are in the business of building great futures, and you can join us by giving to the Unity Campaign. Your investment in young people like Jaylen is invaluable in our community.

Contact Information: Sarah Lynn, Director of Development; 240-831-4330;

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