Boys & Girls Club’s Youth of the Year reflects on her inspirational journey from Camp Old Navy to store employee.
Courtney Calhoun has had quite a summer.
She is one of Old Navy's newest hires in Kansas City. And the positivity and inspiration she injects into her work there has earned her the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City Youth of the Year Award: the highest honor a Club member can receive.
Old Navy first met Courtney, a rising senior at William Chrisman High School, a few summers ago when she attended a job-shadowing program through Camp Old Navy, in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Courtney is just one Boys & Girls Club member to participate in the program. Composed entirely of employee volunteers, Camp Old Navy focuses on mentoring youth on community involvement, volunteerism and job-readiness; it has now served more than 90,000 participants across the U.S.
Through Old Navy's partnership with the local Boys & Girls Club, employees there got to know Courtney — and the origins of her resilience — a little bit better. Courtney truly demonstrates what it means to be #Unlimited: by breaking through barriers and unlocking her potential.
“When I was 12 years old, my family and I ran out of resources and had to live in a shelter," she said. "During the day, my dad needed to work and my mom needed to look for a job. Kids weren't allowed to stay at the shelter alone, so I ended up going to the local Boys & Girls Club. The staff was really nice — they always had their door open for me, and it was nice knowing there was someone there when you were having a bad day."
Two years later, Courtney joined the Camp Old Navy job-shadowing program, where she toured an Old Navy store, tried her hand at the checkout system, and learned tips on how to be professional while having fun — oh, and how to dress a mannequin, too.
Old Navy's Kansas City employees got to know Courtney during their bimonthly volunteer visits to the local Boys & Girls Club, where they gave her resumé tips and insight into the workplace. During one of these resume workshops, Courtney decided to apply to Old Navy.
Courtney, who now volunteers her time and leads a Camp Old Navy job-shadowing program, says, “Old Navy taught me to always try to incorporate a positive attitude in everything I do. I've also learned that customer service isn't just subject to the retail world, but to the entire world, and you have to be able to communicate and adapt quickly."
Katie Kidwell, Courtney's manager, says, “I've never been at a store where I've been as involved with the community — it's always rewarding to help out. And when you think of the pay out and getting more people from the club applying it made us realize that we have an opportunity that we've been overlooking for a while. We want to find more people that have the traits Courtney has. It's priceless — it's not only great for the Boys & Girls Club, but it's also great for us!"