Natalie Jerlecki • The Good of Goshen

Natalie Jerlecki

Goshen Boys & Girls Club, Club Experience Manager

Published June 2020

Here I am at the Boys & Girls Club of Goshen, which is my passion. During the school year, I work with over 300 kids every day from the age of 6 to 18 who come to the club after school. I’m the Club Experience Manager.

Honestly, I’m the mom. Everything from bandaging a little boo-boo with a first-grader to talking through an event with a teen-ager, or working with a parent who needs housing – just encompassing all those elements. It’s real life, and we live it here at the club.

The club gives kids a place to go after school, but we’re so much more than that. We have athletic teams. We have art programs. We have education programs. We have a hot meal that is prepared here in our kitchen daily for everybody who attends.

The kids don’t have to be here. In a school setting, they do. So this is a choice. To know that we have over 300 kids walking through those doors who are choosing to be here and want to be here is a big deal.

I’ve lived in Goshen more than 50 years. My mom was from the Ukraine and my father was from Belarus. My siblings and I are the first-born generation here in Goshen. I speak both English and Ukrainian. Part of my upbringing was being part of the Ukrainian culture.

Having the arts component of Goshen and being able to do that is fantastic. My daughter Jackie grew up where the theater and musicals and the schools were fantastic. It molded her into the career she’s doing now. My son is CEO of his own gaming company out west. The education system here was good. It is preparing you.

Also, the diversity. That is huge. It was for me as a child growing up, and it still is. What a wonderful place to grow up! It’s a very unique small town and still a great place to raise your children.

Writing, editing, and photography by Scott Weisser and Neil King

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