New director for Boys & Girls Club
Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe has a new program director.
Jeremy Brice, 27, moved from Las Vegas to South Lake Tahoe three weeks ago and brought with him years of experience and plenty of new ideas.
Brice, who worked for three years at the Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas, as well as City of Las Vegas Parks and Recreation, said his main focus is increasing club membership modeling South Shore clubs after national clubs.
“I came here with a mission,” Brice said. “My mission is to make Boys & Girls Club a presence in this community. People think Boys & Girls Club is for just for poor kids or minorities and it’s not. The club is for all ages, races. It’s not cost-effective day care. We teach these kids life skills. We teach the young kids about respect and how to treat each other. At the club, the kids are equal. They’re not looking at race, color, economics.”
Though he has not been in Tahoe for long, Brice said he has already noticed some community-wide misconceptions about Boys & Girls Club.
“Some people don’t even know the clubs are here. That’s crazy,” said Brice, who is handling programming for both the Nevada- and California-side clubs. “And a lot of the people who do know don’t understand what we’re about.”
Publicity surrounding former club employee Thomas Soria Jr.’s involvement in the kidnapping and murder of 9-year-old Krystal Steadman has had a negative effect on the Boys & Girls Club, which has faced community scrutiny for the past year.
“I walked into a situation that was unhealthy, but I have every confidence that we’ll get things turned around,” he said. “The hardest thing is going to be to generate youth. We could do so much in this community if people would just let us, not shun us.”
Brice plans to start drama and choir programs, as well as intermural and interscholastic sports teams and a “teen scene” for older members.
“I want to bring in a teen scene, something for the older kids to do like on Friday nights,” he said. “We’re building our leadership clubs up. A big one is LIT, Leaders in Training. We’re training the kids to be tomorrow’s leaders.
“I believe sports is a tool to use to capture youth so I’m working on an intermural program for boys and girls so I can get all the kids involved who might not be on the teams at school. The kids who don’t get those opportunities can come to Boys & Girls Club and do it for $10 a year.”
Annual club membership for youth ages 7 to 18 is $10. Summer hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Brice and Boys & Girls Club Area Director Frank Luna have similar background experience as both worked at the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas before moving to South Shore.
“I know what I’m doing,” he said. “Frank knows what he’s doing. We came from one of the top clubs in the nation so we know what’s going on. But it’s not just about us, the community needs to be into it.”
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