Last week in Mississippi, I visited with three Boys & Girls Club organizations. Each is actively engaged in projects to raise public awareness of the many ways their Club benefits the community at large.
First stop was Corinth and the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Mississippi. It was my honor to speak at the organization’s Commitment to Excellence reception, a gathering to recognize local individuals, organizations and businesses for their support of the Club in the past year. Among those acknowledged was Dorothy Brown, a 90-year-old Corinth resident who raised $10,000 for the Club in the past year. Such an inspiring woman.
We also heard from five Club members, who graciously shared their personal insights to the Club experience and its impact on their lives. They were phenomenal. Personally, I don’t think I could have stood up and talked to a group of adults, as they did, when I was their age.
It was a great event and there is a lot of excitement around the Northeast Mississippi Club. Kudos to Executive Director Antoine Walker and his team, as they extend the Club’s 60-year legacy of helping young people to learn and grow in a safe, welcoming environment.
That evening, we traveled to Columbus, where the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle hosted a reception called Friends of the Club. We learned about many achievements the Club has realized in the last five years, including the recent addition of a teen lounge that provides Club teenagers with a space to call their own, and something younger Club members can aspire towards. Club CEO Nadia Colom also outlined the organization’s vision for future growth, and why the partnership of local leaders will be integral to its success.
The next morning, it was on to Meridian, home of the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Mississippi. During a meeting with the Club’s board of directors, we discussed Great Futures 2025, Our movements proposed strategic plan. It was followed by a reception attended by more than 100 local business and government leaders, including Meridian Mayor Percy Bland.
CEO Ricky Hood and his organization are leading the way when it comes to serving more youth in this part of the state, and increasing the impact they have on kids, as well. They are a prime example of how a Boys & Girls Club can thrive with the support of their community.