The Boys & Girls Club strives to provide each of its members with the necessary educational and life skills to help them become successful adults. When our Club kids graduate and become Club alumni, our Club doors never close to them. During the summer months many alumni come back to visit the Club. One such alumni is Korey Thompson, a senior psychology major at Wesley College, and summer camp counselor at Centre Street.
Korey Thompson has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club since the age of 13, after being introduced to the Club through our Job Ready Program; a work readiness program geared towards high school students to learn essential skills that help them to become prepared for the workforce.
“The Boys & Girls Club gave me my first job,” says Thompson. “They provided me with an opportunity and a chance to make money for myself instead of always depending on my parents.”
Korey was employed as a counselor in the Boys & Girls Club extended day learning program while in High School. As he became exposed to the benefits of being a Club member, he became active in other teen drop-in programs.
Programs such as “Career Explorers” and “Passport to Manhood” kept Korey engaged at the Club and during his senior year he was an active participant in the 2009 Youth of the Year program.
“The Youth of the Year program was a good experience for me,” says Thompson. “It strengthened my public speaking skills which ultimately came in handy when I began classes in college.”
Then 17 and now 20 years old, Korey is spending his time off from Wesley College teaching “Passport to Manhood” at the Club, coaching one of our flag football teams, and working as a camp counselor in the summer camp program at Centre Street.
“The Boys & Girls Club guided me on a path to be someone great even when surrounded by a not-so-great environment,” says Thompson. “It’s nice to have the chance to come back and help provide the same for the Club kids who follow after me.”
Korey leads Club kids in daily exercises to stay fit during gym classes and helps teach the summer camp life skills class; one of his favorite aspects of being a camp counselor.
Life skills classes include topics such as healthy eating and personal health for younger members, and topics such as cooking, street safety, and smoking/alcohol avoidance for older youth.
“Assisting with the Life Skills class has placed me in a role model position which I love because I know a lot of Club kids need a role model”, says Thompson. “I am taking full advantage of the opportunity to teach these kids some of the lessons I learned growing up.”
During the hours Korey is not at the Club this summer, he is participating in a summer internship with the Department of Criminal Justice, and hopes to enter into the NJ State Police post graduation.
“My grandfather was a buffalo soldier and ever since I was young I always knew I wanted to enter law enforcement,” says Thompson. “In High School I was a member of the ROTC so I’ve been pursuing this path for a long time. I hope that my internship will open up more opportunities for me to reach my career goals.”
Korey Thompson is just one of many Club alumni building his success story.