By Allen Reese, formerly of the Boys & Girls Club of the South Coast Area, San Clemente
Thanks for the nice write-up in the San Clemente Times July 27-Aug. 2 edition. I appreciate you thinking my tenure at Boys & Girls Club worthy of mention.
My family and I decided it was important to return to the Mid-Atlantic region because of our desire to have our sons, ages 11 and 12, to be raised close to cousins, aunts and uncles. My father-in-law recently passed away in May and that was a traumatic event for our family.
I will be working as CEO of one of the oldest Boys & Girls Clubs in the United States, the Olivet Boys & Girls Club in Reading, Pennsylvania. This club dates its history back to the late 19th century. It is a rather large club with six year-round locations and several after-school programs. The city of Reading has a large low-income population. It is a rust-belt town that has a large number of kids who struggle academically. I accepted the position knowing the challenge will be considerable, and it certainly will require hard work and collaboration with many partners.
I so enjoyed my time in San Clemente. The beautiful location and ideal weather cannot be matched. So, I am turning in my flip flops for winter coats and snow shovels. It is all good, however. We are grateful for having had the opportunity to live here and wish the children and families of Southern Orange County well. I hope I have had a part in turning the organization into a more professional and academically-focused space for kids. I am a big proponent of academics and promoting school readiness, staff training, child safety and focus on mission. If, in any way, I was able to bring any of these things to the Boys & Girls Club of the South Coast Area to benefit the kids in San Clemente I will feel that my time in Southern Orange County was well spent!