Brandon Molina is a second-generation Club member, joining Club Two at the age of six. Growing up in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, he and his fellow Club members encountered many obstacles and barriers to success on a daily basis. The only resource they could count on was Union League Boys & Girls Clubs and his home Club, Club Two.
He grew up with Union League Boys & Girls Clubs just around the corner. With the time he spent at the Club, he was exposed to different experiences and made listening one of his top priorities. Listening to what life can be if he followed the right path.
At a young age, Brandon’s Club activity offerings seemed endless. With each activity the Club offered, he and his fellow Club members built their personalities, values, and skills. The homework room taught him guidance and critical thinking; the game room introduced integrity and sportsmanship; the computer lab bred innovation and creativity; spending a week each summer at Camp in Wisconsin created maturity and teamwork. Understanding the true meaning of values and respect for others helped him become the man he is today. The foundation of his interpersonal skills were built here at Union League Boys & Girls Clubs.
As he entered high school, Brandon’s involvement led to greater responsibilities within his Club. Working alongside both Keystone and Torch Clubs developed multitasking skills and provided opportunities to mentor younger Club members. A staff member once told him, “We should always appreciate the little things in life. Someone out there does not have it as lucky as we do”. With that, confidence and passion for others has never once left his mind. Union League Boys & Girls Clubs has pushed him to step out of his comfort zone and take chances in life. It has challenged him to take risks and be more outspoken in his life.
With the guidance he received at Union League Boys & Girls Clubs, Brandon Molina went on to receive multiple awards and honors. In recognition of his superb leadership skills, Brandon is a recipient of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at the bronze level, meeting this international organization’s core objectives of volunteering, physicality, skills, and expedition. Additionally, Brandon twice earned ULBGC’s highest honor, the Youth of the Year Award, for undertaking service and goal-setting at Club Two. These awards created a powerful opening and provided the chance to reach his long-term dream: college graduation.
Brandon stands here today to show everyone what Union League Boys & Girls Clubs has given to a six year old boy from West Town: the opportunity to build a great future. As high school came to an end, his family stood by his side as he accepted an $112,000 full-ride scholarship to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. In May 2017, Brandon earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a specialization in Supply Chain Management. Upon graduation, he secured a role as a Project Engineer for a subcontracting company within the commercial construction industry. As for his involvement with ULBGC? Brandon now serves as the Alumni Co-Chairman for Club Two within the ULBGC Alumni Association. Additionally, Brandon is one of the founders of the Brandon McGhee Legacy Scholarship.
He could not be anymore appreciative to know that each Union League Boys & Girls Clubs staff member has a passion for every Club kid as they did for him. ULBGC taught him life lessons and has helped build relationships that will last a lifetime. Everyone has a different story to tell. However, his story would never have happened if it were not for Union League Boys & Girls Clubs, proving no dream is ever too big to achieve.