Greene

PNBGC Seniors Receive Steve Scovic Scholarship

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Two outstanding Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club graduating seniors were awarded The Steve Scovic $1,000 scholarships during Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia’s Senior Celebration. 

The Steve Scovic Scholarship Fund was created to honor the memory of a beloved member of Reynolds Lake Oconee.  This is the fourth consecutive year that the golfing friends and the family of Mr. Scovic have donated funds to assist these Greene County High School students and fellow PNBGC members in their transition from high school to college.

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“Steve was great friend to many in our community, with a big heart and warm smile for all who knew him,” Norm Agran, the chair of the scholarship fund shared. “Steve was passionate about education and creating opportunities for children.He served for many years as the Superintendent of a large Dayton Ohio area school system and this scholarship was created to further the values that Steve held in such high regard.  Its purpose is to assist high achieving students get a head start in their future plans, whether it is college, a trade or the military.  Students who excel in school and work toward defined goalsare chosen.”

The recipients for this year’s scholarship are Marquesha Mallory and Gerald Evans. 

Marquesha will be attending East Georgia College and majoring in Criminal Justice where she will also play basketball for EGC. Gerald will be attending East Mississippi Community College in Mississippi, majoring in Sports Recreation and playing football for EMCC. 

Both students received scholarship funds of $1000 each and an HP laptop.

Both recipients are thankful for how this scholarship has allowed them to begin preparing for their next chapter in life and thrilled to be acknowledged in this special way. 

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club or to donate, visit www.bgcncg.comor call 706-920-1400.

PNBGC Names Junior Youth of the Month for May

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For Club members at Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club being named Youth of the Month is a high honor. Every month a youth is recognized for modeling their leadership abilities. 

For the month of April, PNBGC named Tiejah Darby as Junior Youth of the Month.

“Tiejah Darby has always been a joy to have around ad really sets the example of a Club kid,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator shared. “Tiejah Darby is always willing to participate and even help the staff out downstairs. Tiejah is currently our Torch Club president and she oversees a lot of our fundraisers created by our teens.”

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400.


 

PNBGC Names Youth of the Month for May

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For Club members at Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club being named Youth of the Month is a high honor. Every month a youth is recognized for modeling their leadership abilities. 

For the month of May, PNBGC named Mareyon Miller as Youth of the Month.

Mareyon Miller has shown a huge growth in his attitude and behavior,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator shared. “The staff at Pete Nance struggled to find programs for him to participate in because he just didn’t take an interest but now he make sure he takes the initiative to participate in all programs and even offer to help around the Club”.

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400.

Reynolds Lake Oconee feeds PNBGC Youth

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Recently, Reynolds at Lake Oconee sponsored a night of Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club’s Thursday Dinner program. Staff from Reynolds Lake Oconee including, Master Chef Derin Moore, arrived at 3 PM and began serving our Club youth. They started by serving a fresh garden salad and then served baked barbecue chicken, mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley. The youth enjoyed a sweet brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as dessert. Club members remarked on how much they enjoyed the meal. “We are really grateful for the Reynolds generosity toward our youth and look forward to partnering again soon,” Stacy McClendon, PNBGC Director shared. To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400

Engaging in College Readiness for Spring Break

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PNBGC members tour Clark Atlanta University 

Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club members spent their Spring Break this year touring colleges alongside other Club members from Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia. 

They visited the historical Clark Atlanta University, as well as Georgia College. 

Each college tour is a part of the Diplomas 2 Degrees program, which aims to educate and familiarize the teens with the college experience by providing members with first-hand access and insight from college students and faculty. 

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“The Clark Atlanta visit gave our Club members the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the routines of students and see a bustling college campus,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator shared. “The youth also learned about the historical and cultural relevance of the university. It was a great visit for them.”

In addition to the Clark Atlanta tour, the teens enjoyed a fun outing at Main Event Entertainment Center in Atlanta. The teens were able to enjoy bowling, arcade style and virtual-interactive games, a multi-level laser-tag arena and indulge themselves in the pizza bar. 

Teen club member Traveon Jackson sated, “the trip allowed us to meet with members from the other Clubs, which gave us a rare opportunity to socialize and bond through competitive bowling and laser-tag.” 

“I had a great time bowling with the staff and the funniest part was watching older staff learning to play newer games,” Arianna Ross, PNBGC member shared. “It felt good teaching the staff something new.”

During their trip back the teens visited Stonecrest Mall to shop and browse through the stores. The trip was a great opportunity for the teens and staff to get outside the Club and bond while on Spring Break.

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400.

PNBGC member slam dunks scholarship to College

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Basketball has always been a passion for Marquesha Mallory. Between playing for Greene County High School and practicing inside the walls of Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club as a member, Marquesha is often found with a basketball in her hands. 

Her dream to play college basketball recently came true, as East Georgia offered Marquesha a two-year scholarship to play for the Bobcats. 

A Club member for just two years, Marquesha has become a standout Club leader. 

“I love coming to the Club to work with the younger kids and continue learning about how to become a great leader in my community,” she shared. 

In 2018, Marquesha’s leadership within the Club grew as she was offered a job through the Club’s summer work program.

“Ms. Marquesha worked during the 2018 summer as a Youth Development Professional and was such a delight that we decided hire her as a part time staff to remain a Youth Development Professional,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator shared. “And, now Marquesha serves in our Membership Clerk position. She’s been such a wonderful role model for our youth and fellow peers.”

Marquesha’s dedication to her grades and work life balance are obvious. She’s been able to maintain a 3.5 GPA in high school while being a student athlete, keeping a jog at the Club and her studies. 

Graduating soon, Marquesha said she’s looking forward to this new chapter in her life and is extremely grateful to those who have helped shape her life, including the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club. 

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400.

A Easter egg Celebration for PNBGC members

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As Easter Eggs were tucked into secret hiding places, Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club members waited patiently before hearing the “go” signal to participate in the first Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia Easter Egg Hunt. 

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Not only did Club members get to find their Easter Eggs, they also enjoyed participating in playing basketball, flag football, jumping in a bounce house and having a meal prepared by PNBGC Advisory Board members. 

“The Easter egg hunt was fun with a lot of excitement,” Stacy McClendon, PNBGC Director said. “They were overjoyed just to find a single egg, so you can only imagine those who had baskets full. It reminded me of when I was a child and just how fun it was to participate in community events like this. Our youth had a blast.”

Over 500 eggs were hidden for the event and the “youth were thrilled to meet other Club members from our organization.”

“This was a great opportunity for the kids within BGCNCG to socialize with kids outside of their Club,” McClendon added. “This also gave board members a chance to meet kids from another Club’s besides Pete Nance. We look forward to doing this event again in the future and one day even involve the community!”

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400.

BGCNCG CEO Named Top 10 Emerging Leaders by B&G of GA

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One encounter with Bob Mackey, whether personally or professional, will leave you feeling like a more vibrant human being. He’s in the business of making positive impacts from his smile, candid posture, community involvement and dedication to the youth of Boys & Girls Club – it’s difficult to not become a fan of the work Boys & Girls Clubs does after meeting Bob Mackey. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia saw this potential and named Mackey one of its ten Emerging Leaders for the past year. The Emerging Leader program is a year-long program designed to develop leadership potential within individuals that are ready to take on executive leadership roles within Boys & Girls Clubs. Ten professionals were named out of nearly one hundred professionals to be an Emerging Leader. The competitive program brings together individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who have demonstrated a strong potential for leadership and commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs. 

“Bob Mackey is a great example of what this program is all about. Before Bob officially graduated from the program, he had taken on the role of CEO for Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia,” said Paula Mackelburg, Director of Organizational Development for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “We are proud of the work that Bob has accomplished since taking on his new role! To know how the organization functioned before his leadership makes me even more trustworthy and dedicated to the high-functioning leadership skills Bob possesses. Bob is a robust leader; he builds strong relationships and is coalescing the organization to deepen the impact in the lives of so many young people.” 

For over 15 years, Bob Mackey has been busy at work creating togetherness of change for the North Central Region, Metro Atlanta and beyond. Colleagues and community members refer to him as the impetus of motivation and youth development. 

If you ask Bob, he’ll tell you that “you can’t do this type of work and not make internal changes.” Mackey has stood before new and existing organized initiatives, eager youth advocates, absent businesses and corporations, collegiate institutions and various nonprofit organizations who’ve all have developed a vested interest in making their communities a better place. Even during his tenure working for the Department of Juvenile Justice, Mackey took a strong interest in providing rehabilitation services for the youth and communities by leading local rehabilitation projects for troubled teens. 

Mackey has been with Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia for over ten years. His career in the Movement of Boys & Girls Clubs began as a volunteer, which quickly turned into a part-time job and now he’s responsible for empowering and leading over 100 employees, while providing hope & promise to the youth served. 

For Mackey, surrounding yourself with strong leadership is key to growth and wise council. Mackey notes such leaders as David Roark, Michael Geoffroy, Connie Byrans, Michael Tompkins, Horace Johnson, Brenda Coleman, Tony McCullar, Claude Grizzard, Nancy Vaughn, the late Dick Hodgetts, Harris Warbington, Fred Perriman, Mike Conrads, Joe Edwards, Von Friesen, Babs Johnston, Tom Jones, and many others. 

Mackey’s accomplishments as an Emerging Leader and all-around Youth Advocate are vast. After reading a recent study about how youth who weren’t working or in school, Mackey identified $20,000 from government relations to provide funding to employee teens during the summer and after-school program. As a result, BGCNCG doubled its number of working teens at BGC.  In 2014, he received a nomination as a Champion of Change from The White House Initiative. On a National level, he serves on a committee for the screening of National programs, has twice chaired State-wide professional development conferences for over 1000 BGC Club professionals, and has created initiatives to combat summer learning loss for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Recently, he was recognized for completing the School of Executive Leadership from the BGCA Spillett Leadership University and Michigan Ross School of Business. 

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia is not your typical Boys & Girls Club. With the rapidly shifting environment and youth crime peaking daily, new initiatives and programs are vital,” Mackey said. “Pool tables and basketballs are no longer enough to keep kids engaged, safe and productive. The village and landscape look completely different from 20 years ago. The fight to give our youth a chance starts with an opportunity to learn, encouraged parent engagement, community partnerships, a safe & fun place, and a focus on teen development.” 

Mackey noted as an organization, BGCNCG has faced “many challenges.” Today, BGCNCG is in great hands according to BGCNCG Advisory Board Chairman Michael Tompkins.

“I must say that North Central Georgia is in great hands. Having a strong and competent leader makes a difference. For our 2018 financial audit, our organization received no financial findings. We’ve made several great improvements and adjustments to better serve the Clubs and youth in our region,” Tompkins shared. “Our board is vested in raising the dollars needed to ensure that the youth we serve have that fighting chance to grab hold of hope and enter into opportunity. The community support we’ve gained is stronger than ever. Our supporters can see and feel the difference. Our parents value the Boys & Girls Club. We’ve promised not to promise but to provide an opportunity to impact our youth. We mean what we say and say what we mean. Great Futures Start with Great Leaders and Great Futures Start at the Boys & Girls Club.” 

Since Mackey became CEO of BGCNCG, the organization has achieved the following results:

·      Provided 18,0000 of hours of after-school development for ages 6-18

·      40+ youth, ages 14-18 received their first job at the Boys & Girls Club during the summer months

·      Increased voluntarism for Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia by 80% and now have over 250 volunteers

·      100% percent of teens who attend our program at least three times a week graduated on time

·      300 youth in our service area learned the game of golf through Boys & Girls Club 

·      Expanded our service area to include Newton County

·      Provided after school and summer program services to over 1300 youth in 2018

·      Increased individual giving by 70% amongst first-time supporters of the movement

·      0 teen pregnancies in 2018 

Currently, BGCNGC serves over 300 teens org-wide.

These results only are a snapshot of the difference that the Boys & Girls Club is making under the leadership of Bob Mackey. 

The late Dick Hodgetts wrote of Bob Mackey, “When Bob Mackey completes his journey, we all can take pride in what he has brought to us.” 

Mackey wants to leave an open invitation to the community to take part in a 10-hour challenge by volunteering at your local Boys & Girls Club. “Less than one hour per month can make a huge impact,” he said. “We need you! Our youth need you, so we can count on each other.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia serve Greene, Morgan, Putnam, Walton and Newton Counties with world-class Youth Development Professionals creating an environment which fosters hope & opportunity for all youth. To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, visit www.bgcncg.comor call 770-267-8034. 

 

PNBGC Names Youth of the Month for April   

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For Club members at Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club being named Youth of the Month is a high honor. Every month a youth is recognized for modeling their leadership abilities. 

 For the month of April, PNBGC named Chase Miller as Youth of the Month 

 “Chase has only been a member since September, but that has not stopped her from becoming a great leader within the Club,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator shared. “She is a pleasure to be around and her witty personality will definitely put a smile on your face.  Chase is always eager to help and follow directions. Chase also goes out of her way to ensure her peers do the same which is what we love about her.”

 To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400

PNBGC Names Junior Youth of the Month for April 

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For Club members at Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club being named Youth of the Month is a high honor. Every month a youth is recognized for modeling their leadership abilities. 

For the month of April, PNBGC named Annie Hall as Junior Youth of the Month.

“Annie has exhibited great leadership abilities throughout the Club by assisting our interim membership clerk with daily tasks,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator shared. “She is one of our well respected and active members. Annie is a dancer, a basketball ball player and also a member of ROTC. Annie’s leadership qualities are what led to our decision in making her our 2019 Youth of the Year ambassador.”

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400.

PNBGC Members Give Back to Community

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Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club members are getting first-hand lessons on giving back within the community. Recently, Club members visited the Legacy Health & Rehabilitation center to hand out sweet treats and talk with residents and clients.

Members walked from room-to-room greeting residents and providing them snacks while having conversation. 

“Pete Nance is really trying to help our younger youth understand the importance of giving back to the community and how small gestures, like a simple card or treat, can really brighten someone’s day,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator, shared.  “Legacy Health & Rehabilitation offer rehabilitative therapy for both short-term stay and during long-term care. During this time many clients may not get to see their family members as much as they would like to so as a Club our youth want residents to know that their loved and thought about.”

For Club member Larra H. the experience is personal.

“When we visit the Center, I get to visit my grandmother and meet all of her friends,” she said. “I love being able to give back like this.”

Richbow adds for the youth this is an enriching experience.

“It’s great to see the clients of legacy smile and laugh as the kids perform for them,” she said. “The youth also learn so much during their visits and get to have great conversations with residents and clients. We look forward to going back soon for a nice game of bingo.”

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400.

 

Volunteering brings “sparks” of imagination to life 

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Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club volunteer Lynn Wailes sees the Club as a village of mentors and opportunities for youth to grow. 

“It takes a village to raise a child and it does matter when others outside of the family take an interested in how a child is navigating their life,” she shares. “I feel that by volunteering, we can make an impact in our community.”

When asked about an impactful moment to choose from Wailes said watching a child’s spark light up. 

“Any chance to see a spark during a reading session marks as an impactful moment,” she said. “Just the other day I was working with a young boy who went from Clifford the Big Red Dog to Martin Luther King Jr and then to Elephants who Paint. His engagement and excitement in learning sparked him to dig into other books all day.”

Volunteering at the Club, for Wailes, brings to mind a few words, “happy children with quality things to engage.” 

“I look forward to spending time with the children and getting to know them every day.”

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/petenanceor call 706-920-1400.

PNBGC receives grant for books

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Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club elementary school age members celebrated Dr. Seuss’ Birthday with books and more books filling their imaginations with possibility. The birthday celebration was a part of Read Across America Week. The books were awarded to the Club through a grant that was submitted by the Pi Phi Ladies.  

Each grade level had the opportunity to participate in a book fair, story time and an art lesson.

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“Read across America Week was the perfect time for the students to shop for personal books and celebrate the world of reading,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator shared. “Each student was allowed to select two books to have of their own. Once the students selected their books, they were given time to read and enjoy their gifts.”

The students also participated in story time and were spent art hour painting or drawing a piece of artwork that reflected something that they liked about their book. The remaining books that were purchased through the grant have been placed in a library for PNBGC members. 

“This library will afford the members the opportunity to have reading time during the afternoon. We are so grateful that the Pi Phi Ladies secured this grant and has enabled us to provide this additional resource to our members,” Stacy McClendon, PNBGC Director shared. The students and staff would like to send a special thank you to everyone that was responsible for the books and access to a permanent library. We look forward to the many adventures we will experience through our new books!”

For more information about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/petenance 706-920-1400

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Welcome Brad Parr as BGCNCG Operations Director

BGCNCG Promotes Brad Parr to Operations Director 

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The Boys & Girls Club of North Central Georgia is proud to announce the promotion of Brad Parr to the position of Director of Operations. Parr will assume his new role within BGCNCG April 1, where he will be responsible for overseeing membership safety, staff development and management, supervision of Club Directors and budget management. His role will be in support of the execution of programs to include Character & Leadership, Education & Career Development, Health & Wellness, Teens, Sports & Recreation and the Arts. 

“Operations are the lifeline to any organization. We value our commitment to the communities we serve and have become good stewards of change and development. In order to effectively lead, we must effectively grow. With growth comes the obligation of providing a safe & secure environment and fostering educational outcomes that change the trajectory for our youth.” Bob Mackey, BGCNCG, shared.

In 2016, Brad Parr was hired as the Education Coordinator for the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club under the direction of Bob Mackey. There he was responsible for facilitating and implementing academic programming such as Power Hour, Summer Brain Gain, First Tee Program, Volunteer Management, and the Novelis Partnership/Lake Project. In 2018, Brad was promoted to Club Director for the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club where he was able to work with staff to bring in new programs, create community partnerships and maintain the strong relationships within the community, and build up the Youth of the Year Program. 

Brad Parr is a graduate of Sequoyah High School, attended Georgia College and State University where he obtained his Bachelors’ Degree in Community Health and a Masters’ Degree in Recreation and Sports Administration from Western Kentucky. During his senior year, he worked for Communities in Schools as an intern. He oversaw volunteers and tutored students throughout each week. After graduating, Brad was named a Site Coordinator with Communities in Schools where he planned and implemented school-wide programs and tutoring services for students who were likely to drop-out based on academics, behavior, or demographics. 

Brad has been able to empower our youth to share their stories and use their platform to create change and plan for their future. 

“Being a Club Director has provided me with the opportunity to meet many important community members and build relationships for the betterment of the students in Greensboro,” Parr shared. “It has been an honor to work with the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club as the Club Director.” 

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400.

 

 

Welcome Stacy McClendon as PNBGC Director

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McClendon local champion for youth  

Position Effective April 1, 2019

The Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club is proud to announce Mr. Stacy McClendon as Director. McClendon is no stranger to the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club and the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, as he has held various part-time positions over the course of a four-year period. 

For BGCNCG President & CEO, Bob Mackey bringing Mr. McClendon into the movement was an obvious choice.

“Mr.McClendon aspired to do more. His smile, his presence, andprofessional candor will bring any strangers to their feet. He is a born leader ready to impact the world and tobe an example of Hope & Promise in his community and beyond,” he shared. “We’re fortunate to have Mr. McClendon lead the Pete Nance Boys& Girls Club.”

McClendon is a graduate of Greene County High School where he excelled as a student and acquired a love for science. In high school, he played basketball for three years and was offered two college scholarship opportunities to continue his education at Georgia College and Augusta State University. 

Considering his options, McClendon decided to attend the Professional Career Institution in Norcross, Georgia where he earned a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After completing his degree, he returned to Greensboro and dedicated 20 years to the Lake Country.

His professional profile attracted an opportunity at Reynolds, which capitulated him to his dream job -a hotel manager for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Lake Oconee. During his time in hotel management at Lake Oconee, his focus remained on youth development. He cultivated a program for Greene County High School students to offer them an opportunity to experience workforce development at Reynolds Lake Oconee. McClendon has won numerous high-profile awards, such as the Five Star of the Year Award and a Malcolm Bridge Award nominee by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. 

McClendon's managerial experience also includes working in real estate with the Reynolds Family where he learned a great deal about salesmanship, community service and marketing. He spent some time as a personal assistant, which he used to increase his management skills. 

What has centered McClendon’s drive throughout his 20-year career in Lake County are the youth. He observed a trend of youth falling short in their educational pursuits and decided he had a responsibility to be a part of the change. He donated his time, talent and treasure back to his hometown. 

“I discovered the need for positive male mentors in my hometown,” McClendon said. “I soon became a mentor for the Greene County School System, as well as Athletic Coordinator for the Recreation Department. I also provided a helping hand to the Lake Oconee Academy, where I coached basketball, soccer and softball.”

After spending more time in the community, McClendon transitioned to volunteering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia and for four years under the guidance of Mr. Bob Mackey, serving as a dedicated staff member at the Pete Nance Club and the Interim Director of the Madison-Morgan County Boys & Girls Club. 

Currently, McClendon is the assistant girls’ basketball coach at Lake Oconee Academy and the Director of Player Development. His hobbies include: spending time with his family, attending church, watching movies, reading, swimming, playing basketball, and cooking. He is also currently pursuing a degree in Sports and Recreation Management with a minor in Psychology. Mr. McClendon believes it is very important for all youth to pursue their dreams passionately and take their education seriously by being engaged in educational activities and taking full advantage of the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club because it is one of the keys to their overall success! Stacy been married to his best friend Janet, for over 22 years. He is blessed to have three amazing children Stacy, Destiny, and Ryan. 

Stacy McClendon will assume his duties with the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club effective April 1, 2019. Brad Parr, the current director has been promoted to Director of Operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia. 

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/petenance or call 706-920-1400. You can contact Stacy McClendon at smcclendon@bgcncg.com

BGCNCG Youth Named Semi-Finalist at State Comp

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Griggs “shines” a message of positivity 

Ricquaria Griggs believes in empowering others – it’s a message she’s been spreading since joining Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club in 2012. It was there within the walls of her Boys & Girls Club that she found her inner voice and confidence to start sharing her positivity. And, it was on stage at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia Youth of the Year competition she heard her inner voice say, “I’m here.”

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‘Here’ was hearing her name being called as a semi-finalist in the state-wide competition, where she competed against more than 30 youth from Georgia Clubs. 

The statewide competition was a three-day competition, which consisted of interviews, essays and speeches focusing on how Boys & Girls Clubs impacted the youth.

For Griggs, the impact was easy to name – “the Club taught me to love myself and how I can in return take that love and give it to my community.”

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And even though she didn’t take home the title of state-wide Youth of the Year, Griggs keeps echoing two words, “I’m here.”

“After the winner was announced a fellow Youth of the Year said to me, ‘but, I’m here’ and I couldn’t help but reflect on the meaning of those two words for my life and my future,” she shared. “Wherever I am meant to be and whatever I am truly meant to pursue, I will get there because I was here – because this Club and organization believed in me and because I believed in myself.”

Among those gathered to support Ricquaria was Greene County High School Principal, James Peek, who shared his excitement in her successes. 

“It has been a tremendous experience attending this Youth of the Year ceremony. We at Greene County High School are very proud of Ricquaria’s accomplishments,” he shared. “She is an outstanding student and tremendous leader in our community. I know that she is on the path to do great things in the future.”

For Mike Conrads, a Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia advisory board member and donor toward the Youth of the Year program, watching Ricquaria grow was an immense honor to participate in. 

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“Shine is the word – Ricquaria is amazing,” he shared. “She’s such a great representative and she truly has her act together. She knows where she’s going, so humble and just a wonderful spirit. It’s been wonderful to watch her grow through this last year.”

Conrads added, “She’s going to be a superstar in the future – she already is.”

“She’s going to be leader and she is going to come back to our community and give back – that’s her.”

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During the course of the last year, Ricquaria was been named Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, as well as the organization wide Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia Youth of the Year. Her accomplishments are marked by her unrelenting dedication to grow as a leader, as well as an individual. 

Bob Mackey, President & CEO of BGCNCG, said “We are so proud of Ricquaria. She truly lives and breathes our mission statement in her own community efforts to ensure every youth reaches their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”

“Her accomplishments also echo our core commitment to continue fostering great futures for our youth in North Central, as this marks the second year a youth from our organization was named a semi-finalist in this competition,” he added. “We’re also so grateful for the individuals who helped prepare Ricquaria for this competition. Thank you, Linda and Mike Conrads, June and Michael Tompkins, Terressa and Kim Jensen for helping prep her for the sessions.”

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For Ricquaria, her future is bright and sure to be something “amazing.”

“Because of my local Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club and the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, I was given the opportunity to share my story and inspire others along the way,” she shared. “I now have the confidence to keep striving to be successful. I can’t wait to see what’s next for me because I know it is going to be something amazing!”

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program empowers young people to reach their full potential by providing youth with access to the tools they need to build the great futures they imagine.

Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia’s vision is to provide a world-class experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who enters its doors.

For more information or to donate, visit www.bgcncg.com. If you’d like to get involved, please contact 770-267-8034. 

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PNBGC Announces Youths of the Month for March

Celebrating Club Leaders

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For Club members at Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club being named Youth of the Month is a high honor. Every month a youth is recognized for modeling their leadership abilities. 

For the month of March, PNBGC named Ja’Layla K. as Youth of the Month 

“Ja’Layla has grown into a leader within the Club by following Club rules and helping out despite being a Club member for only a short period of time,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator shared. “Our Youth of the Month is a Club-driven experience that fosters leadership within the Club and Ja’Layla is a shining example of what it takes to be a leader.” 

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For the month of March, PNBGC named Ariana R. as Junior Youth of the Month.

“Ariana R. has shown a huge growth in her attitude and takes the initiative to participate in programs and with helping out around the club. Ariana has also show a huge improvement in her grades and behavior,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator shared. “Our Youth of the Month is a Club-driven experience that fosters leadership within the Club and Ariana is a shining example of where a positive attitude can take you.”

PNBGC members read with a helping paw

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Reading is a crucial part of childhood development and according to the National Education Association, reading doesn’t just impact verbal and written skills, but mathematics as well. 

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With these statistics in mind, Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club members are currently engaged in a fun-filled program where children practice reading to their best fur friends. 

K-9 Angels is a reading program with Canine Assistants service dogs and volunteers geared to help Club members practice reading skills and become more confident in their ability to read.

“Our Club members really look forward to the dogs coming into our Club,” Diedra Richbow, PNBGC Program Coordinator shared. “Most of our youth seem to naturally love animals - especially dogs. Imagine the joy and excitement this gives to the members as they read to the dogs. They’re less focused on feeling uncomfortable reading in front of their peers and more engaged in reading their stories to their new-found fur friends.”

Club member, Kayden D., shares she loves reading books to her favorite dog Memphis.

“Memphis loves any book I read to him and it’s a lot of fun to reading to the dogs,” she shared. 

Richbow says that since the K-9 Angels program arrived to Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club, Club members have exceeded their growth in NWEA MAP reading. Currently, 80 percent of members participate in this program.

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/petenanceor call 706-920-1400. 

Volunteering to see ‘positive impacts’

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Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club volunteer Carol Kuhn sees the Club as an asset to Greene County’s community its families – that’s why she’s committed to being in the youth’s lives at the Club. Whether its tutoring during Power Hour or listening to younger Club members share their dreams, Carol knows it’s important to be present. 

“There’s no better way to make a difference in a child’s life than personal interaction and genuine interest in them,” she shared. “I see PNBGC as a needed resource to help offer that interaction and support and that’s why I keep giving back here – I want to continue to see that positive impact in our youth.”

When asked about an impactful moment to choose from Kuhn said it’s every day moments that tug on her heart strings. 

“During a one-to-one tutoring session with a high school student, I was able to connect with her on something she was having a difficult time understanding,” she said. “We were able to get her caught up in that one session so when she returned to class the next day she was on the same page with her fellow classmates. Being able to help that Club member was such a privilege and joy.”

Volunteering at the Club, for Kuhn, helps offer moments like this to Club members every day and gives members and even larger support group of adults cheering them on. 

“This Club is building better futures and instilling character-building qualities into its youth,” she shared.

To learn more about Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/petenanceor call 706-920-1400.