Perry Unit Director
Short Bio: I have been with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township since being hired in 2008. I started as a program staff at Perry, mostly running group games and gym activities. In 2009, I interviewed and was hired as the Unit Director at Perry Elementary. I was at Perry until 2012 when I was transferred to the Paul Knox Teen Center for 2 years from 2012-2014. In 2014, I returned home to Perry as the Unit Director. I love working with the kids in Club and it has been a pleasure watching them grow up. I have been working with Club members from all ages, starting with first graders and now having juniors in college. I love when the kids come back and see me to check in.
What is your favorite thing about working with BGCDT?
I enjoy working with the Club members, especially watching as they grow into young adults. It is nice to have kids come back to Perry and ask me for advice. It lets me know that what we are doing with the kids is working, especially when they are coming back for continued guidance.
What is your favorite memory or moment with the Club over the years?
I have to say that my favorite memory was back in 2012, while I was working as the Teen Center Director. I spent a lot of time recruiting high school students to visit the Teen Center and had over 100 students register. That summer, we sponsored 30 kids on a one-day field trip to North Ave. beach (Chicago). Our Teens came from all different backgrounds including different ethnicities, different interests, different hobbies and different local neighborhoods. What made it my favorite moment was at one point there were 30 kids in Lake Michigan, all participating in a big group circle, but all protecting each other and embracing their differences to come together as one unit. It was just neat to see our Teens do that and to know that anything is possible with youth.
How did you get started with BGCDT?
This is a unique story, I was working in management at DHL and I was notified that I was going to be laid off within 6 months, so I decided to look for a part time job locally. I always had an interest in working with youth, but just never thought my path would lead to BGCDT. I interviewed at Perry and got the job, then ended up working my way up to become a full-time Unit Director.
If you had to pick one program, activity or event that you enjoy the most at Club, what would it be?
I serve as the Club’s Athletic Director, so I would have to say that running the sports league is my favorite activity. I like working with the parents, coaches and Club members and making the athletic leagues experience as great as they can be. Growing up, I found the best way to make friends, and learn to be a good person came from my involvement with sports and being on teams.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I have to have dessert after dinner, at all costs, and I love ice cream, cupcakes, brownies and anything sweet.
What is your favorite TV show and favorite movie?
The show “Charmed” on TNT…yes “Charmed”! I’ve been watching it since the very beginning. My favorite movie has to be Lion King, I’m a total kid at heart.
Who has had the most influence on your work career?
My 7-8 grade Football Coach taught me to never give up, always do your best and only good things will happen. Since 7th grade I have had that mind set, it has not always worked out but, for the most part I have been rewarded with my efforts. Thanks to my coach, I give 115 % in all that I do and when it’s all said and done, win or lose, I can say I tried my hardest. I can live with that.
What is number one on your bucket list?
I would love to go back to school and complete college and get a degree to help me in my career.