CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County
I was born
I don’t see the way I grew up as a crutch. It helped shape me into who I am today. I value my wife and my children. I value my grandchildren. I value my community. I value work ethic and respect. I think those are the things I yearned for as a child and didn’t see, so it was important for me to find those things. As I have grown older, I have learned how important it was for me to embody those things.
Every child has value. I’m really passionate about providing hope and opportunity for kids to reach their full potential. Taking care of our youth — especially when those children are raised in situations that are difficult for reasons that are no fault of their own — is the only way our community can move forward.
I think my happiest moments are watching Club children who have graduated high school, who maybe didn’t think they were going to graduate high school, who went on to college and came back to this community and have become community leaders. Those are my proudest moments.
I didn’t have to stay here. I was in the Navy. I was stationed overseas. I’ve been in 20 different countries. But this place — the faith of the people, the passion of the community, the generosity. I don’t think you can find this anywhere else. Not like this.
Editor • Liz Shenk
Interview + Photography • Ashley Ganger
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