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Each year, in collaboration with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Maytag honors and rewards a group of stand-out Club professionals and volunteers who make a difference to kids and teens every day in communities across the nation. Each of these individuals have gone above and beyond to prove their commitment to young people and better the communities they serve. To reward their hard work and inspire continued programming that enables youth to achieve great futures, these honorees received the Maytag Dependable Leader Award and a $20,000 grant to support a program they want to enhance or implement at their Club.
Now, let’s learn a bit more about this year’s exceptional honorees:
Josh Sergeson, Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley (Napa, CA)
Josh Sergeson, teen coordinator, plays a key role at Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley. For more than 10 years, he has dedicated his time and energy to the service of youth and gives everything he can to help Club members create great futures. As a Club alum, Josh demonstrates exceptional leadership day in and day out, including his involvement spearheading the local Youth of the Year program, where he mentors nominated candidates to develop their professional skills. Josh leads career development activities like public speaking, interview preparation and other workshops to aid teens transitioning from high school to college.
With the $20,000 grant from Maytag, Josh plans to advance his vision of creating a Club environment where every young person feels welcome, appreciated and supported. This includes enhancing the Club’s College and Career Development program to bring more opportunities for internships, certifications and networking events to Napa Valley Club members.
Josh’s passion and commitment to helping others is widely recognized throughout the Club and the community. Not only does he encourage kids and teens to dream big, but he shows them how their dreams can become a reality with the right mindset and approach.
Liz Hamilton, Boys & Girls Club of Worcester (Worcester, MA)
Liz Hamilton, executive director at Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, is a trusted leader for the kids and teens she has served at the Club for more than 15 years. As the Club’s first female executive director in its nearly 130 years of existence, Liz continues to play a pivotal role in the success of the organization to serve young people during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
She has dedicated her life to enriching the lives of children in her community and is constantly finding creative, fun ways to engage youth in self-improvement activities to help them reach their full potential. Additionally, she recently launched a mentorship program in partnership with local business leaders and universities, as she believes in the power of open dialogue between youth and trusted adult mentors to help teens achieve their dreams.
With the grant from Maytag, Liz plans to expand this program to connect Club members with mentors from the community for advice, guidance and support on a variety of topics including everyday situations and tackling career goals.
Andrea Everett, Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County (Greeley, CO)
Andrea Everett, director of community outreach and onboarding at Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County, has dedicated the past six years to the organization. She started out as a Clubhouse director, moved to a staff training and hiring role, and now manages community relationships and volunteers. Andrea consistently goes above and beyond to take on new challenges, including stepping into new roles – from youth basketball coach to homework helper and more during the pandemic.
With the grant from Maytag, Andrea will launch a youth mentorship program focused on providing Club members of all ages with mental health support. By providing youth with a community mentor who has access to a trained mental health professional to go to for advice or support, she hopes kids and teens will feel more comfortable navigating challenging situations and connecting with their communities in meaningful ways.
Geoffrey Bynoe, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston’s Yawkey Club of Roxbury (Boston, MA)
For 18 years, Geoffrey Bynoe, Edgerley Athletic Director at Yawkey Club of Roxbury, has encouraged young people to pursue excellence in academics and service, while remaining active and participating in Club sports. A quiet and humble individual, Geoffrey’s peers say he “shines bright behind the scenes,” and makes a positive impact on every young person he comes in contact with, serving as a mentor who betters the lives of others.
Geoffrey serves as a leader and youth mentor, partnering with several organizations to introduce Club members to a wide variety of sports including hockey, baseball, golf, lacrosse, basketball, baseball and more throughout his time with the Club. During the pandemic, Geoffrey shifted his role to a pod leader, where he expanded his involvement with youth by supporting kids and teens with the challenges of remote learning.
Geoffrey shared that he observed youth spending more time behind screens during the pandemic, so he plans to use the grant from Maytag to expand the impact of the Manny Wilson Basketball Education League, a program Geoffrey created to honor the memory of a police officer who lost his life on duty serving the Boston community. The expansion will include additional fitness programs that encourage youth to stay active, as well as introduce them to sports, and physical and mental health education with professional trainers and educators.
Vanessa Brown, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Shreveport (Shreveport, LA)
Vanessa Brown, executive director at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Shreveport, is dedicated to enhancing youth development and serving as a reliable role model for young people at her Club.
For years, Vanessa has always been the first one to open the doors at the Club each day and the last one to leave. She has fostered budding artists in the community by creating a community mural. She also aspires to educate and inspire Club youth to consider careers in law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medicine. In fact, she plans to use the grant from Maytag to enhance the Club’s Responding with Connections program, an initiative she designed to enhance positive relationships between youth and local first responders.
Ashley Jones, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington (Vancouver, WA)
Ashley Jones is a dedicated employee of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington where she continues to make an impact for youth every single day.
For more than eight years, she has helped Vancouver-area youth at the Washington Elementary Club become involved in their local community, inventing creative ways to inspire them to give back. She is also passionate about assisting kids and teens in navigating life changes, including transitions from elementary school to middle school and middle school to high school.
Ashley is thrilled to use the grant from Maytag to increase support that helps youth navigate these challenging transitions. The program will enhance communication efforts between Clubs and families to provide greater access to community-centric resources. She is excited to offer middle school and high school tours for youth, empowering them to learn things, like transportation tips, that help them get oriented to their new settings and strengthen their confidence when venturing into a new school or community.
Justin Caserta, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Holland (Holland, MI)
Justin Caserta is the unit director and education coordinator for Holland’s North Side Club where he has served kids and teens for nearly 14 years.
In addition to his involvement in many programs at the Club, he leads the To Graduation and Beyond program for kids and teens. The grant from Maytag will support the program in providing resources for students as they plan for college and what’s next. Justin assists young people with everything from tackling college finances, applying for scholarships and connecting with internships
Congratulations to the 2021 Maytag Dependable Leaders!
Learn more about how Maytag supports Boys & Girls Clubs and the dependable, caring mentors in communities across the nation and on U.S. military installations worldwide.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Boys & Girls Clubs programming promotes academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. More than 4,700 Clubs serve over 4.3 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.
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