Lawrence Boys and Girls Club


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BGCL honors Central Catholic mentors with Paul Cronin Volunteer Service Award

January 25, 2018

Youth member Elvin R., who joined the Marist Mentor program as a third grader, credits the program with his subsequent improvements in school and confidence, his acceptance last year at Central Catholic High School and now his own commitment to give back as a Marist Mentor.

"My life was definitely changed for the better because of my mentor, Anya Housianitis," says Elvin, who calls the Clemson University senior "my best friend."

"Anya has taken me to Clemson to see what college is all about, and I now see a world of opportunities I never knew were possible for me," he adds. "I've been so lucky to have a Marist Mentor in my life. I will certainly be there for my mentee and try my best to make a difference to them, as my Marist Mentor did for me."

In recognition of the hundreds of club kids who have similarly benefited since the program's inception in 2010, BGCL has recognized the Marist Mentor program with its 2018 Paul W. Cronin Volunteer Service Award.

Named for the late U.S. Congressman, the honor is presented annually for going above and beyond in using education as a tool for kids to fulfill their potential. The ceremony took place at the club's annual dinner on January 25 for mentors and their youth protégés in recognition of January as National Mentoring Month.

The program was founded by then-Central Catholic students Housianitis and Michelle Abou-Raad, with assistance from the Central Catholic Campus Ministry staff and collaboration with BGCL. Central Catholic's students continue to volunteer weekly, providing homework help, general support and friendship to youth members in third grade and older who are facing difficult challenges or circumstances.

Housianitis and Abou-Raad, who now works in Washington, D.C., created videos that were played at the ceremony emphasizing the program's life-changing role in the lives of both the young mentees and CCHS student mentors. To view the videos, and for more information, visit


Did You Know?

The Alumni Association has donated over $6,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence since its establishment in 2002.