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Importance of Youth Development and Career Exploration with Keith Blanchard

Adam Torres and Keith Blanchard discuss youth development.

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Show Notes:

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis are committed to helping youth develop and find their career paths. In this episode,  Adam Torres and Keith Blanchard, President and CEO at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, explore their programs and how they are helping the youth of greater Memphis succeed.

About Keith Blanchard

Keith Blanchard brings over 20 years of experience and proven non-profit success to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Memphis. Prior to joining the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, Keith served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County in Gainesville, Florida for 12 years and spent seven years in law enforcement as a California police officer. Keith’s main focus has been on quality programming, team building, and fundraising and he has won many national Boys & Girls Clubs of America awards for his efforts.

Keith believes every young person, no matter who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances which surround them, should have equal access to opportunities and experiences that give them every opportunity in life. Yet, kids today do not. With 1 in 6 children living in poverty in the U.S. and a growing achievement gap, it is even more critical now that monumental change occurs. Quality after-school programs like Boys & Girls Clubs give all young people access to opportunities, leveling the playing field among all kids, no matter their economic status, race, gender, sexuality, or religion.

Keith and his team are preparing Memphis kids to stand on equal footing with their peers. By providing a safe-haven, with caring mentors, and life-enhancing programs, Club Kids thrive. They plan for great futures, learning skills for success. They reach their potential and emerge prepared for all sorts of possibilities–ready to impact the world.

He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Texas State University and his Advanced Police Academic Credential from South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium in San Jose, California. Currently, he leads a network of 10 Boys & Girls Clubs that serve nearly 5,200 young people annually throughout Memphis. More than 150 professional staff members operate the Clubs, supported by some 1,250 board and program volunteers.

Keith his wife Vera Cristina, and his daughter Monique are excited to be part of such a wonderful community! In his spare time, Keith enjoys, playing tennis, art and traveling. 

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis

Mission
To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need them most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

Vision
Every child they serve will achieve on-time grade progression, graduate from high school, complete post-secondary education or training, and earn a livable wage as a productive member of their community.

Commitment
They promise to use your investment wisely, responsibly, and efficiently to achieve a real, sustainable and measurable impact for the children and families in their community. They will be transparent and open in sharing their successes and their challenges.

Since 1962, the Club has provided positive educational, recreational, leadership, and sports programming for youth via quality after-school programs, a summer camp, and additional afternoon programming during the summer for all members. These programs and services are designed to build character and strengthen life skills, resulting in a healthy and safer community. Their Clubs are staffed by paid, highly trained youth development professionals. Through a system of informal guidance, Club staff form strong bonds with young people and help them make smart choices in life. For many Club members, Club staff members are the most influential positive adult role models in their lives. The Club’s programs foster a sense of belonging, and competence that builds self-confidence and self-esteem.

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