“The Club is my home away from home...It’s a place where kids won’t be judged, and people want the best for us.”
Ike Harcourt has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Newark since the age of 11. He came to the Club looking for a safe space after school to escape the drugs and violence in his community. Ike describes the Club as his home away from home – a place where he knows he won’t be judged, where people care for him and want the best for him. He credits the Club with teaching him the value of hard work and dedication in pursuit of his goals.
Ike is a high school senior at University High School. He’s a member of the varsity championship basketball team and also sports a 3.3 GPA. Ike loves basketball, but also values education, and due to his diligence in the classroom, he’s been accepted to 16 colleges and universities. However, he’s set his sights on Johnson and Wells, where he’d like to major in Entrepreneurship in preparation of opening his own family style restaurant.
Ike’s desire to open his family style restaurant is fueled by his desire to impact his community in the same way the Club helped to shape his life. He has a strong family unit at home, but also feels a strong sense of family at the Clubhouse. Through hours of community service through the Summer of Service program, his desire to give back and enrich his community has grown. His hope is to be able to empower and enrich the lives of other young men from his community, by teaching them about service and entrepreneurship.
As BGCN Youth of the Year, Ike has made it his duty to remain a positive and steadfast role model for younger youth in his community. He has the drive and dedication to pursue his goals to become a business owner in order to bring about change to the neighborhood he grew up. Ike envisions that he’ll one day be able to give the gift of entrepreneurship to others, so they might take back their community.