Boys & Girls Clubs of America CEO Jim Clark recounts his visit to a Club in South Texas.
I recently completed a visit to the Boys & Girls Clubs in Edinburg Rio Grande Valley and Pharr, Texas, in the southernmost part of the country and near our nation’s border with Mexico. I found it rewarding and gratifying to see and hear about the tremendous progress each Club is making to deepen its impact on youth, even while seeking to extend its reach.
At a breakfast reception with the Edinburg community, we talked about the challenges faced by local youth and how the Club is expanding its services to meet those needs. This includes the building of a new teen center that will provide additional facility space for youth of all ages. Special thanks to CEO Sabrina Walker-Hernandez and COO Adriana Rendon for the great job they are doing in creating great experiences for kids and teens. It’s easy to see why the surrounding community takes such pride in its Clubs and in supporting the organization.
At the Pharr Club, Board Chair Eddie Cantu and CEO Freddy Mata are also focused on adding a new site in the near future. This will expand their Club’s capacity to serve youth, which is greatly needed.
I enjoyed a visit with the staff of both Clubs, as well as the opportunity to attenda special teen focus group about the challenges teenagers are facing and the solutions they’re finding at Boys & Girls Clubs. These energetic, well-grounded groups provide tremendous hope and inspiration for the future, with their own great ideas for improving programs and experiences for their age group. I even found time for a quick ping-pong game with the Pharr Club champion!
In all, it was a wonderful time in Texas and extremely special to see the level of care, compassion and mentoring taking place at these two Clubs.