Maria Ramirez
Golfview Unit Director
Short Bio:  I was born on the West Side of Chicago and grew up in Carpentersville, attending D300. I have been involved with the Boys & Girls Club movement since I was 16 years old.  I worked as a part-time staff at several  of our club sites, but in 2012 I was able to go back to where my journey started, becoming the Director of our Golfview site.  I love to have my first year members come by and say hello and reminisce on the times we had in our SMART Girls program.  I am a proud mother of a precious 1 year old son, Jahleo Ily. I enjoy watching him love music and dance.
What is your favorite thing about working with BGCDT?:  I like that I am “behind the scenes” with our Thank You banners and signs for our donors.  I enjoy seeing the members pumped about showing their appreciation to those who support our movement.
What is your favorite memory or moment with the Club over the years?:  Out of many, I would have to say, witnessing a mission moment with my only male staff.  He came to work one day having completely shaved his head, after hearing that a member the day before was being bullied because of his new shaved hairdo.  He showed such compassion and for that I am thankful to be able to work with such warm hearted staff.
How did you get started with BGCDT?:  Club opened doors for me when I was a teen member.  I was part of Keystone Club and participated in other national programs.  At 16, I remember sitting at my first interview with my heart racing for a p osition at Golfview Elementary.  Fortunately, I was hired on the spot as a Junior Staff.  Since then I have had the experience to work with all age groups; I moved around throughout all the sites, over the years.  As I grew older my passion for club grew bigger.  It is an honor to be the Unit Director now at Golfview Elementary where my career began.   I am an Alum and am proud of that.
If you had to pick one program, activity or event that you enjoy the most at Club, what would it be?:  When I was working at CMS I remember the look on Barbara’s face and the tears when she watched our Dance group practice the song “I was Here” by Beyonce.  She was so moved by the performance that she invited us to perform at a board meeting.  Standing in that room and seeing all of the smiles was so heartwarming, it was a “proud mom” moment for me for sure.
What is your guilty pleasure?: Anything dark chocolate
What is your favorite TV show and favorite movie?:  FRIENDS is definitely a classic for me.  Any movie that includes Denzel Washington is my favorite.
Who has had the most influence on your work career?:  Seeing my mother grow her career at Golfview Elementary was definitely influential.  I can see the joy in what she does for these children and she passed it down to me. Now we are able to share the same passion and stories with each other at the end of our day.  Also, I wanna give a shout out to the BGCDT Leadership Team: Curt, Mike & Amalia for guiding me through this experience to become a better leader. #DreamTeam #!!!
What is number one on your bucket list?:  I would like to kick back on a beach in Jamaica, while listening to reggae music, watching my son play in the sand.

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