Vanessa A. started at the Parkside Club when she was 9 years old. She lived near the Parkside Club with her grandmother, who worked at Camden High School. She never had a Dad or male figure in her life until she met Mr. Guy, Unit Director at BGCCC 2010-2015. He told her about the Job Ready Program, encouraged her to volunteer and told her that there was always room for improvement. Mr. Pat, Unit Director at BGCCC 2015-2017, and Mr. Guy were Vanessa’s mentors and offered a male perspective she didn’t have at home. She was forced to grow up fast and be a “mother” to her brothers. Later, when she moved to Pennsauken, she would walk to the Club, just to be here.
After completing the Job Ready Program, Vanessa started working for the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County. Vanessa states that she “has grown professionally and as a person. The Club has shown me patience and how to raise my own child, correctly. When you walk through those doors, it’s not about you anymore!” She is getting ready to graduate from Rutgers University, but says she has had “so many obstacles, but couldn’t have done it without being here. It is a blessing to see the kids in the community. The Club gave her a purpose and a push!”
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