Amanda Murray
Teen Center Director
Short Bio:  I was born and raised in Bloomington, IL, where I grew up with 3 siblings. I am the daughter of two very passion driven parents, my dad a football coach, my mom an artist. I learned from a very young age that I should love what I do and do what I love, and to use my passions and strengths to improve the lives of those around me. I have strived to live that every day of my life. I attended Illinois Wesleyan University for Psychology, and continued on to Wheaton College where I studied Clinical Psychology, with the knowledge that I would use my education to help people. I started to volunteer with teens and grew to love working with them, but not until I found a job at the Boys & Girls Club did I think that I could do it as a career.
What is your favorite thing about working with BGCDT?:  My favorite thing about working with the BGCDT is building relationships with the teens. I love getting to know their personalities, talents, strengths, passions, and finding out what they really need from us so that we can empower support them as they grow.
What is your favorite memory or moment with the Club over the years?:  My favorite memory is when I traveled to Dallas, TX for the National Keystone Conference in March of 2016. Being with over 2,000 teen leaders and their advisors packed into one building was so exciting and inspiring. I was currently working with the BGC of the Tri-County Area in Wisconsin, and I was so proud of how my teens built relationships with teens around the country, became inspired by speakers and peers, and brought lots of ideas back to their own Club. They really got a glimpse of what the Boys & Girls Club is doing on a national level, and the dedication they have to making this the Year of the Teen!
How did you get started with BGCDT?:  I was working at a Boys & Girls Club in Wisconsin when I was contacted by a BGCDT Board Member about the opening for Teen Center Director, and if I’d be interested in applying. I had worked with his nephew when he was a teen, so he knew that I had a passion for working with them. After a few interviews and getting to know the staff, I was ecstatic when I was offered the position. Although I am just getting started with BGCDT, I am really looking forward to all the great things that will happen with the Teen Center in the future!
If you had to pick one program, activity or event that you enjoy the most at Club, what would it be?:  I love Keystone Club! I love being able to give the teens a voice of what happens in the club, using their ideas and their leadership to bring new people in and make our teen programming the most dynamic and supportive experience that we can.
What is your guilty pleasure?:  My guilty pleasure is blasting the music in my car and belting the harmony to whatever song is on. Sometimes I keep driving around, just so that I can finish whatever song I’m singing.
What is your favorite TV show and favorite movie?:  My favorite TV shows are New Girl and Parks and Recreation, and the Pitch Perfect movies are my favorite!
Who has had the most influence on your work career?:  The Executive Director at my last job gave me so many opportunities to have a hand in all parts of the Club. As my first Club experience, he really set the tone for what it looked like to have a career within the Boys & Girls Club, but his heart for the kids was always in the forefront. I learned so much from him, and owe him a lot for giving me my first job with an organization I love.
What is number one on your bucket list?:  Going skydiving. Or traveling to Europe. Better yet? Skydiving in Europe!

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