FLINT (WJRT) - (07/10/15) - A young lady from Mid-Michigan has overcome much hardship to become a leader and difference-maker in her community.
Life is shining brightly for Diamond Howell.
Growing up in Flint, she tells the story of how violence in her neighborhood prompted her mother to get her and her brother involved with the Boys and Girls Club.
"So, like the first day, I'm just like, 'Wow,' because I've never seen so many activities and things to do," Howell said.
In fact, she liked the club so much, she wound up volunteering in her spare time.
The grown-ups took notice, including Greater Flint Boys & Girls Club CEO Tazzari Robinson.
"Diamond is one of our current longest tenured club members here. She's one of our best club members. She's very dedicated, even before we hired her on," Robinson said.
As a junior staff member, Howell has worked on several service projects and now helps inspire club members, as others did for her.
"I really love kids. People always ask me like, 'What are you going to do,' and I've been working with kids so long that's all I see, like anything that occupation with children. I love being a mentor and having someone the kids can look up to," Howell said.
Howell recently finished second in a statewide Youth of the Year competition.
The Southwestern Academy honors graduate will enter the University of Michigan-Flint in the fall and credits the Boys & Girls Club with helping her achieve her goals.
"Opportunities. Connections. You meet so many people you would have never meet by just by going to school," Howell said.
Howell may put her bright smile to use as she studies biology with a focus on pre-dentistry. Her other passion and home away from home will always be the Greater Flint Boys & Girls Club.