Meet Marvin Green
A shy eight-year-old, Marvin Green walked into the Boys Club for the first time in 1989. He sat off to the side, watching all that was going on around him. He liked what he saw, and after some encouragement, he broke out of his shell. He played bumper pool. He went swimming. He went camping at Camp Littlehawk. He got art lessons from Miss Sally. He got chased out of the gym by Mr. Mac.
It was clear early on, Marvin had found his place.
“Boy & Girls Clubs really brought out this inner person that was sitting inside of me,” he said. That “inner person” is the one everyone knows today – a man with a jovial spirit, welcoming presence, a big laugh and an even bigger smile.
As Marvin became a teenager, he began to be more involved in the leadership activities the Club had to offer, such as the Torch Club and the Keystone Club. He was a counselor-in-training, helping with bulletin board and the drama club. He was named Youth of the Year twice.
“As a kid, I remember it being called ‘the Club that beats the streets’ and it really did that for me. It really kept me away from that level of peer pressure of wanting to be in the streets.”
Soon, more doors began opening for him, giving him experiences he never dreamed he’d have. His first trip on a plane and a stay in a hotel came when he attended the National Keystone Conference. He learned how to network and use his voice, working with the Youth Philanthropy Project, serving on Allocation Committee of the United Way and the Richmond Youth Council, where he met his future co-worker Caprichia Moses.
His experiences at the Club had built a solid foundation for any career. But those same experiences allowed Marvin to find his calling; he knew he wanted to spend his life making an impact.
Marvin’s career path started in the locker room at Central Club on Robinson Street. He quickly worked his way up, becoming a junior counselor, then a program director at Central Club. He stepped away from the Clubs for five years, working in the mental health profession, before returning in 2012 as the Club Director at Petersburg. Last spring, Marvin was promoted to an administrative position as the Director of Operations, now working just down the hall from Mr. Mac, also known as Todd McFarlane, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond.
Having the opportunity to experience the Club at every level has influenced Marvin in his current role. He oversees the daily operations of the five Clubs, making sure everything from transportation to safety to facilities run smoothly. He’s also responsible for staffing the Clubs with the most dynamic and dedicated leaders.
While his job is considered “behind the scenes,” he is anything but. Marvin is in the Clubs every day, providing the youth with that same sense of belonging he felt when he was a member and demonstrating how impactful the programs can be.
“I know Boys & Girls Clubs works. I’ve seen the proof that this is a good program, that this will help you become a productive citizen if you stay in it,” he said. “It also gives you the opportunity to impact lives, to the point where a kid knows it’s tangible. You’re setting that tone that they know they can look up to a mentor and talk to them.”
“My hope is that our young people can come out of school and have made a decision about what they want to do, to make a choice and use their voice.”
Over the last three decades, he’s seen Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond change as young people have changed. He credits Boys & Girls Clubs for being cognizant of that and refocusing their vision to adapt to those needs and “digging deep” with their members.
“We work with the kids that need us the most. We have a program that says, ‘okay, you may have some problems, let’s work through them, and this is how we’re going to do it.’ That’s digging deep.
“My hope is that our young people can come out of school and have made a decision about what they want to do, to make a choice and use their voice,” he said. “I would love all kids, wherever they’re from, to have the skills to be able to be productive in the community without having to struggle or have so many challenges that they make bad decisions. My ultimate goal is to see them get everything in their toolbox that they need to be successful.”
An outgoing 37-year-old, Marvin Green walked into the Boys & Girls Clubs for easily the eight thousandth time. He stood in the middle of the room, watching all that was going on around him. He liked what he saw. The young people of Richmond were engaged in high quality programming, connected with dedicated staff and volunteers and prepared for the life they want to achieve.