Suncook teen named Boys & Girls Club 'Youth of the Year,' turned to club for support
CONCORD - School may be out for the summer, but Megan Forde isn't slowing down.
The 17-year-old from Suncook, recently named "Youth of the Year" by the Boys & Girls Club of Central New Hampshire, is a full-time staff counselor at the club's summer camp program in Allenstown.
Despite this latest accolade, recent years have not been without adversity. She suffered losses of both her best friend and her dad to cancer.
She turned to the club for support.
“They really helped me like get my life together and I wouldn't be here without the club today,” she said.
The soon-to-be Pembroke Academy senior is a member of the National Honor Society, a 3-sport athlete, and volunteers with socially-challenged teens, all while working for the Boys & Girls Club.
Her tenacity and always-positive attitude has long earned her the respect of club campers and colleagues alike
“You can just see it in her personality that she's always smiling, bubbly and happy,” Michael Staton, Camp Director, Boys & Girls Club of Central NH, said. “The kids respond so well to her. She's a great role model."
Her campers have taken notice, too.
"When I was new she kind of helped me fit in, and when she won the Staff of the Year award, she was nice enough to share the cake and ice cream with us,” one camper said.
She's also a trusted confidante to many of the kids, who turn to her for advice.
“All the time they come up, like, 'is Megan available for just a second? I just need someone who understands what I've been through,’” Staton said. “And she's always available for them."
Megan is well-aware of the impact her leadership on the kids she mentors and has some advice for dealing with the bumps in the road.
“I'd definitely say have fun along the way,” she said. “Because that's what made me so positive and effective in my leadership - because I've had fun along the way.”