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The Journal Gazette

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette President and CEO of Boys and Girls Club Fort Wayne Joe Jordan stands with sisters Myalee and Lauren Hudson at the new Boys and Girls Club Fort Wayne off of Fairfield Avenue in Fort Wayne on Thursday, April 4th, 2019. The new club is set to open on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019.

  • Jordan Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club Fort Wayne Joe Jordan in the new building off of Fairfield Avenue in Fort Wayne on Thursday April 4th, 2019. The new club is set to open on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019.  

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette Founder Rudy Mahara, Sr., and President and CEO Joe Jordan of Boys and Girls Club Fort Wayne stand in the new building off of Fairfield Avenue on Thursday, April 4th, 2019. The new club is set to open on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette

Monday, April 15, 2019 1:00 am

Five questions for ...

Joe Jordan

President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne

The debut

The grand opening for the new Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne, 2609 Fairfield Ave, will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

1 Your new center looks beautiful. With its grand opening set for Tuesday afternoon, tell us how the new center came to be and what it will mean for young people in our community.

The whole emphasis for this new building was trying to find a way to serve the older kids better. Over the last five years we have seen more than 3,000 youth annually. Of those 3,000 children, 80% of them are 12 and under. We knew that we had to do a better job of attracting and sustaining the older kids, the 13- to 18-year age range. We believe with this new facility we will have the tools necessary to create an environment that will attract and sustain teenagers. The new space will also allow us to serve twice as many youth and deepen our impact with youth.

 

2 “Great Futures Start Here” is emblazoned on the side of the building. How does that capture what your organization is trying to do?

Our tagline “Great Futures Start Here” is all about providing kids with hope and opportunities that they may not have had if they didn't walk inside the doors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne. We believe that we can create great futures with life-enhancing, evidence-based programming, creating an environment that kids feel safe, valued and empowered and providing them with loving and caring adults to help guide, encourage, support them during these formidable years – putting them around great role models!

 

3 Tell us about a young person whose life was changed by his or her contact with the Boys & Girls Clubs.

There are so many wonderful stories about the impact that the Boys & Girls Clubs have had on young people. The biggest thing I can share is that the Boys & Girls Clubs become like a family to our kids. Helping young people understand their potential and who they are is a big part of what the club does every day. When young people understand their talents and gifts, they recognize their potential and how they can find a place in this world. Then exposing them to opportunities and different career paths open up their minds to opportunities and their spirit to hope. It allows them to dream about the possibilities.

 

4 What's the most important unfulfilled need in the young people you encounter?

I believe the most important unfulfilled need for youth is a strong support system. All young people need a safety net during the most challenging time period in their lives, adolescent years. Someone there to be able to pick them up when they fall down, help guide them and figure out the right path to take. Someone there to listen and encourage them to continue to do the right things. Someone there to make sure the basic needs are being met. Someone there that they know, no matter what, that person loves me and will always be there for me.

In my opinion, your support system is a major difference between success and failure.

 

5 What's the best way for someone who cares about all of this to help?

The Boys & Girls Clubs are all about collaborations and partnerships. The best way someone can help in this work is to volunteer with the organization. It can be simple as coming in hanging out with the children, or bringing a specific skill set that will help enhance the programming at the club. We always need financial support to support the programs and services of the Boys & Girls Clubs.