The Boys & Girls Club of Hot Springs welcomed Bo Jackson to its Great Futures Gala – showcasing the renowned athlete as a man of integrity and discipline.
By Kim Meyer-Webb | Photography by Nancy Nolan | Produced by Ellen Scruggs
The Boys & Girls Club of Hot Springs has been serving the community for more than six decades, developing character and inspiring the next generation of leaders. “Great futures start here,” explains CEO Steven Mills. “This current campaign is shared with clubs across the country. Our members learn to rise to greatness; becoming responsible caring citizens.” Congruent with the national initiative, the Boys & Girls Club of Hot Springs welcomed Bo Jackson to its Great Futures Gala in April. The evening showcased Bo Jackson beyond the athlete – an educated man of integrity and discipline. “He’s an ideal example for our youth,” notes Steven. “Bo is not only a sports legend, he’s a successful business and civic leader. He illustrates the power of potential.”
Renowned for his careers in Major League Baseball and the National Football League, Bo returned to Auburn University to complete his Bachelor of Arts degree – recognizing the importance of education; a cornerstone of the Boys & Girls Club values. He visited with club members and reiterated the importance of discipline and commitment to greatness, “Strive to be better today than you were yesterday. Set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there.”
“Our club serves more than 1,200 youth throughout Garland County each year,” explains Steven. “In order to maintain our low cost to families, events – like the Great Futures Gala – supplement necessary funding.” The Boys & Girls Club of Hot Springs provides academic and athletic programs for youth after school and during the summertime in a safe, structured environment. “We inspire our members to dream and learn, surrounded by caring youth development professionals, and to cultivate leadership traits that last a lifetime.”
As a well-established club in Arkansas, the Boys & Girls Club of Hot Springs continues to evolve to meet the needs of its members. Recent facility additions include a learning center with a library and homework resources as well as a new teen center. But connecting members with their dreams is the foundation of the organization’s mission fulfillment work. Steven remembers one member’s experience, “He met a former FBI agent and realized his dream of becoming an agent and serving our nation. That’s a great future.” This member, Jalian Gentry, was recognized as Youth of the Year at the Great Futures Gala as well as at the Arkansas State Capitol by Governor Hutchinson.
The Boys & Girls Club of Hot Springs is an affiliate of a nationwide network. Located in every state as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Boys & Girls Clubs deliver invaluable programs and services to millions of youth every day.