The Thanksgiving holiday offers a moment to reflect and express gratitude for all of the things that make Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond a special place.
For the last 13 years as the president and CEO, I have had the privilege of working with the young people of Richmond and Petersburg, their trusting families, a dynamic staff, a supportive Board of Directors, dedicated volunteers and community partners, and supporters. I’m grateful for this family of people and for the breadth and depth of the relationships we have built.
I’m thankful to young people who inspire our work. They come to the Clubs every day, coming prepared to learn and engage, sharing with us their talents, their stories and their dreams. They put their trust in us, knowing they are going to feel unwavering support every day, and that we’re confident that they can and will succeed. They also know that we’re going to stick with them throughout their journey.
Rooted in Richmond, I often cross paths with our alumni. They are quick to recount stories about their days in the Clubs and the impact volunteers, staff or an activity had on them. Yet, I’m reminded that the successful adult standing in front of me was once a 12-year-old kid who had to overcome incredibly challenging circumstances to get where they are today. I’m thankful that they never gave up because we never gave up on them.
Our staff goes through the ebbs and flows of life with young people; even in the most challenging times, they remain committed to our mission. They come into work every day believing that today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be even better. Our young people learn so much from that positivity.
I’m thankful for a community that has continually supported our work, who has seen hope through the darkness and has committed deeply to changing the odds for our young people. We have an energetic and enthusiastic Board of Directors that has allowed us to go through evolutions and pivot directions to benefit our young people.
It’s also incredibly humbling to have donors that believe enough in our young people, enough in our mission, and enough in our organization to invest $25 million dollars as they did with the Create New Statistics capital campaign.
I’m grateful to hear our staff, our Board, our donors and investors, and our families say, “that’s exactly where you should go, and we want to go with you.” That’s not possible without the credibility, trust and relationships that have been established.
As an organization, we have a unique ability to meet people where they are at in life. I’m moved by the many stories that are woven into the fabric of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond – young people like Jasimine Scott and Rodesha Smith, staff members like Marvin Green, parents like Taneall Scroggins, and longtime friends like Austin Brockenbrough III. Their voices are few of the many that have helped shape our work.
As I look towards the future, I am hopeful. There is a new strategic plan on the horizon with a vision which includes an equitable society for all. This won’t be easy work, but by joining us on this journey, we can make great strides together.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.
President & CEO