This Jackson County Kids Club Builds Both Character & Community
“The more kids we have involved, the more lives we can touch!” That’s the focus for James Allen, Director at the Ben Sanford Boys & Girls Club and he’s done an exceptional job reaching that goal!
The Ben Samford Boys & Girls Club started back in 2002 by Mayor Ron Bailey & Harold Brookshire who were products of the original club from back in the day and wanted to see it continue with the next generation.
“The Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) is well-known for providing life enhancing opportunities for children and adolescents who may not have otherwise had access to such life developing resources. After more than a century since its formation, BGCA continues to hold to its infamous mission statement and core beliefs. The mission of the club strives “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible.” - Boys & Girls Club of America
With full support from the City of Scottsboro, the local youth club now serves 50+ kids on a daily basis, with the capacity to accommodate up to 100 local youth during their after school and summer programs.
From the moment you step into their Houston Street facility, organization and creativity exude from the kids during their daily activities. Activities include everything from chorus to chemistry and groups of youth can be seen peppered throughout the facility working on tasks that they are most interested in.
In his 17 years as director, James Allen says the biggest challenge for the organization was to become a trusted staple in the community. Confident he’s now reached that milestone, he’s working with the city and the community to continue expanding to offer more programing in order to impact the most lives possible.
Mr. Allen has personally been involved in the character development of hundreds of youth, but one particular youth stands out to him most. “We had a problem child join our unit years ago, and he was just mean. An instigator, looking to stir up trouble and harm fellow students. For some reason though, I had a soft spot for him and decided not to give up on him. I kept on him, telling him he could choose something better for his life regardless of his past. He ended up in prison at 17 and I thought that was the last I’d see of him. Six years later, the day he got out of prison, I was his first stop. He told me he’d been thinking over the things I shared with him quite a bit during his time in prison and said he wished he would of listened to me. Now, he was ready to make better choices. Today, the young man is a welder making $65 an hour and is a productive member of society. That’s exactly why I do what I do!” -James Allen
The local BGCA branch provides an array of enhancing life opportunities focusing on critical areas such as education, career, life skills, fitness, sports, recreation, arts and many others, the character and leadership development right here in Jackson County Alabama.
If you are passionate about seeing how this local Jackson County Club continue to build strong characters and thriving communities, please consider donating to their cause!