Get Involved | Volunteer



VOLUNTEER GUIDELINES

 

 


ABOUT THE CLUB
The West Valley Boys & Girls Club is a private, non-profit youth agency with a primary mission of service to girls and boys, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances. The Club offers daily programs promoting the health, social, educational, vocational and character development of youth ages 6 through 17. The Club makes a positive impact on young lives by building self-esteem and encouraging the development of values and skills during critical periods of childhood growth. This is accomplished through Club programs and in relationships between young people and caring, capable staff and volunteers who serve as teachers, leaders and caring friends.


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SERVICES

Core programs provide diverse activities that meet the interests of all youth. engage young people in activities with adults, peers and family members that enable them to develop self-esteem and to reach their full potential. Based on the physical, emotional, cultural and social needs and interests of girls and boys, and recognizing developmental principles, the Club offers program activities in five areas: character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, and sports, fitness and recreation. All programs are based on a youth development strategy that recognizes the need for each child to develop a sense of belonging, usefulness, influence and competence.
Character and Leadership Development empowers youth to support and influence their Club and community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process, and respect their own and others’ cultural identities.
Education and Career Developmentnables youth to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, apply learning to everyday situations, and embrace technology to achieve success in a career.
Health and Life Skills develop young people’s capacity to engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well being, set personal goals, and live successfully as self-sufficient adults.
The Arts enable youth to develop their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and appreciation of visual arts, crafts, performing arts, and creative writing.
Sports, Fitness and Recreation develops fitness, positive use of leisure time, skills for stress management, appreciation for the environment, and social skills.

VOLUNTEER EXPECTATIONS
Staff and volunteers are expected to provide a positive environment for our members so that they will want to stay and participate. You will be asked to take part in various areas of the Club where you will work closely with the staff in that area. The most common areas that you will be working in are: Power Hour (homework assistance), outdoor recreation, game room supervision, special games and indoor recreation, arts and crafts and cleaning and maintenance of the Club. If you have a special talent that you would like to teach, you may discuss running a special program with the Program Director.

Volunteering at the Club is fun and it’s important that your focus is working with the members. Often times, there may not be anything structured for you to do, so you will need to take initiative to work directly with the kids by playing a game, either one on one or with a small group.

CHECK IN/OUT AND TIMESHEETS
Upon arrival you need to sign in on your timesheet in the volunteer Book, located in the front area. Check in with the Program Director or Program Coordinator and you will be directed to the area where help is needed most. If you are assigned a specific program and/or area, you may report to the staff in that area directly.

SCHEDULE
A schedule is not required, however, we prefer to know when you will be coming in to help. If you are running a specific program, a schedule is mandatory and we ask that you call the Club if you cannot come in at your scheduled time.


Employee Of The Month
Evan Crayton

Evan Crayton is the Teen Recreation and Van Driver for the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley and has been working at the Club for more than six years. Evan is 30 years old and received his Associates Degree in Social Behavioral Science from Mission Community College. His interests include coaching, playing basketball and football, and mentoring Club members.

Evan chose to work at the Club because he would like to make a difference in kids’ lives by sharing his life experiences and teaching them to make the right decisions. His goal is to make sure Club members don’t make the same mistakes he made as a kid. Evan’s favorite thing about working at the Club is listening to former Club members’ success stories and learning about how the Club changed their life for the better.

“Former members of the Club still keep in touch with me on a monthly basis. I share my advice to better them on their journey to becoming a successful young adult. The Club is a positive place for kids and I’ll continue to mentor Club members day in and day out as long as I have the ability to.”


Employee Of The Month
Juan Carlos Diaz

Juan Carlos Diaz is the Site Coordinator at Reseda Elementary School. He began working at the Club in September of 2010 as the Youth Development Professional at Blythe Elementary School and then was transferred to Topeka Drive Elementary to assume the Assistant Coordinator position.

Juan is from Guatemala and came to the San Fernando Valley when he was one-year-old. Juan enjoys helping the community in any way he can. He has received an award from Councilmember Tony Cardenas for his participation in community outreach in North Hills. “My parents always taught me that success comes when you have made a difference in life, not in what you have but by what you have done for others.”

Juan chose to work at the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley to inspire and help those in need. “I don’t just want to be their coach, I want to be their mentor and help open up different opportunities for these kids.”

Juan’s favorite thing about working at the Club is seeing how much Club members appreciate, have respect, and look up to the staff members. He also loves being able to provide them with a variety of programs that enable them to improve in every area of their lives.

“This is more than a job to me, it’s a passion. It’s rewarding knowing that I have had the opportunity to make a difference in these kids outlook about education and life. Working for the Club has taught me that if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a leader.”


Employee Of The Month - January 2014
Juan Carlos Arias

Juan Carlos Arias graduated from Van Nuys High School in 2003 where he played soccer, baseball, and football. In 2003, he was ranked number 32 among the top 50 soccer players in the San Fernando Valley. Juan was recruited to play soccer for Glendale Community College, where he played for two years. He left school to follow his soccer career and joined a semi-professional soccer team. Unfortunately, Juan had a knee injury and had to stop playing.

Juan has been working at the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley for more than nine years as a driver and athletic coordinator. He coaches all of the sports teams and transports them to various tournaments. Juan’s main reason for working at the Club is that he enjoys being around children and teaching them about school, sports, and respect. Juan’s favorite thing about being at the Club is being around the many different kids and building relationships.

“The Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley is a beautiful place made for kids to be safe. I sometimes don’t even see it as a job because I’m always having a good time with the kids.”


Employee Of The Month - December 2013
Laura Gonzalez

Laura Gonzalez is the Photography Coordinator and has been a Club employee for more than a year and a half. Laura grew up in Colombia with her mother and siblings and moved to the United States when she was 16 years old. Laura attended California State University of Monterey Bay and received her Bachelor’s degree in Visual and Public Art last year. She plans to continue her art studies and would like to obtain a teaching credential in the near future.

Laura previously worked at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County while attending college. She chose the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley because she wanted to continue working with the same organization once she graduated. Laura enjoys teaching the kids various artistic skills since most of them have never been exposed to art. She feels joy when she sees them create art and learn new things that they can share with others.

“The kids at the Club have a lot of potential and hidden talents. I love helping them discover their talents and guide them with the necessary skills needed to be creative, productive, and caring citizens.”


Employee Of The Month - November 2013
Saul Jimenez

Saul Jimenez is the assistant coordinator at Blythe Elementary School and has been working at the Club for more than four years. The Club has been a place where Saul has gained skills that will enable him to be successful in his personal endeavors. “The Club played an immense role as I completed my undergraduate degree at California State University, Northridge as a Liberal Studies major.” The Club has allowed him to practice what he learned in the classroom.

Saul is currently applying for the multi-credential program at CSUN and hopes to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher. “I have always known that I wanted to make a difference in my community and that I wanted to work with children. When I received the opportunity to work for the Boys & Girls Club, I knew it was something I could not pass up. The more involved I become with the Club, the more I realized this is a place I could easily call home.”

Saul enjoys working at the Club because of the programs that are offered and being able to help children with their homework. He feels that there is no better feeling than the gratitude staff members receive from the parents, school staff, and the students who always come back.


Employee Of The Month - October 2013
Nia Pressley

Nia Pressley is a 21-year-old, undergraduate student at Pierce College majoring in Communications. She plans to transfer to California State University, Northridge (CSUN) to learn about becoming a radio personality.

 

Nia has been a West Valley Boys & Girls Club member ever since she was a child. While a member, she participated in almost all of the Club’s programs, sports, and activities. During her time at the Club, she was taught life skills and leadership, which she attributes to her self-confidence today. Nia developed talents and hobbies while at the Club, such as singing, dancing, writing, and acting.

Nia volunteered at the Club when she was in her teenage years and became an employee during the summer of 2008. After taking some time off, she started back at the Club in January 2012 and has been working at the Hale Charter Academy off-site location for a year and a half.

Nia chose to work at the Club because she loves helping kids solve problems and enjoys assisting other staff members. She enjoys giving back to the Club because they helped her during her childhood years. "After working various other jobs, coming back to work for the Club was a no brainer," said Nia. "The kids are amazing! I just knew I'd be happy here."

Nia’s favorite thing about working at the Club is that she gets to positively impact and shape the lives of young minds every day.



Employee Of The Month – September 2013
Herla Ramos

Herla Ramos is a 22-year-old, undergraduate student at California State University of Northridge. Her ultimate dream is to become a school counselor to help students set and achieve their academic goals.

Herla is the first in her family to attend college. She grew up in a difficult environment where her parents had to work long hours, giving her very little time to spend with them. She also grew up in a neighborhood that was plagued with gangs and violence. “Growing up, hearing gun shots, and seeing people get killed became, in a sense, normal to me because it would happen so frequently.” She understands the significant role that the Club plays in the future of children.

She has been working at the Club for two years and is the Life Skills Coordinator at Canoga Park High School. Herla has chosen to work at the Club because she wants to help Club members develop educational and social skills, she has a passion for working with children and teens, and she wants to give back to the community.

“My favorite part about working at the Club is knowing that I am helping build future leaders and encouraging them to discover their full potential. The best part about my job is knowing that I am making a positive impact in these children’s lives and helping them establish fundamental skills that they will carry on throughout their lives. Seeing them smile and become engaged in our program activities makes my day that much better.”


Board Member Of The Month – August 2013
Scott Sachs

Scott Sachs is a Managing Partner in Southern California at CohnReznick LLP. His career includes significant experience in both initial and secondary public offerings, debt and equity financing, and acquisition and divestiture analysis. He is actively involved in, or has recently been involved in, such organizations as the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, the Jewish Home for the Aging at Eisenberg and Grancell Villages, the Girl Scout Council, The Entrepreneurship Institute, Junior Achievement, and the Ernst & Youth LLP Alumni Association of Southern California Board of Directors. Scott has served on the Club’s Board since 2008.

Scott is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Scott’s interest in being on the Club’s Board is based on his passion for supporting the children in the community: “The Club is a critical part of our community. It is important that we all invest in, support, inspire, and enable our youth,” he said. “We must provide a stable and a safe environment where children can nurture their skills and passions and develop into productive and responsible young adults. The efforts of the entire Club’s staff helps further this mission each day.”


Board Member Of The Month – July 2013
Mitchell Englander

Councilmember Mitchell Englander was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 2011, representing the north San Fernando Valley. He is currently the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Vice Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, a member of the Planning and Land Use Management Committee, and is an active LAPD Reserve Officer at the Devonshire Division.

Councilmember Englander is on the Board of several organizations, such as the American Diabetes Association, San Fernando Valley Jaycees, Providence Holy Cross Hospital, the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, Jewish Home for the Aging, Winnetka Community Foundation, Valley Leadership Institute, Devonshire PALS, New Directions For Youth, New Horizons, and SOLID. He has served on the Club’s Board since 2007.

“I have been fortunate to have worked with and supported the Club for many years, and I have seen the great impact of their work in our community. They have enriched the lives of thousands of at-risk youth in our community and helped them to get on – and stay on - a successful path in life. All the staff, volunteers, Board members, and supporters have made the San Fernando Valley a better place for more than 20 years,” the Councilmember said.



Mitchell Englander

Michon Pinnix has been with Amgen, a biotech company, in Thousand Oaks since 2010 in the Multichannel Sales department. She holds a BA in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering through a dual degree program with Spelman College and Georgia Institute of Technology, a MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

Michon is committed to providing goodwill to the community and giving access to education. She has been an active volunteer of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley for the past three years and has been involved with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) since 2008. Michon joined the Club’s Board this year and for three-years she has been working on fundraising events on behalf of the Club.  

“I began working with the Club because access to quality educational programs is the foundation for our youth’s success. It is the responsibility of every individual to contribute and that contribution can be through service and/or philanthropy,” she said.


Board Member Of The Month – June 2013
Allen Lawrence

Allen Lawrence is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Allen Lawrence & Associates, Inc., a major California insurance brokerage firm that has combined Allen’s insurance expertise with public service. Allen has been appointed by the Governor to serve on several commissions, such as California Health Facilities Commission and the California Transportation Commission.

Allen is currently the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Val*Pac, the San Fernando Valley Business Political Action Committee. Since 2003, he has served on the Board of Trustees of the California Truckers’ Safety Association and is a member of the California Trucking Association. Allen also serves as a National Commissioner and is a member of the National Executive Committee for the Anti-Defamation League.

Allen has been a Board member of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley for more than five years. His interest in being a Board member is to help guide disadvantaged youth to achieve their maximum potential in life.

“We have brought together very talented staff and an enlightened pro-active Board that focus a tremendous amount of energy on helping the children reach their potential in life” said Lawrence.


Board Member Of The Month – May 2013
Eric Kentor

Eric Kentor is an attorney/independent business advisor and private investor, working primarily with companies in health care technology and clean tech/green business segments. He grew up in the Valley and attended UCLA as both an undergraduate and law school student.

Eric has been a Board member since 2007 and is currently the Chair of the Governance Committee. Eric’s wife and two daughters have all volunteered at the Club, making volunteering a family affair.

“I support a number of charitable and community organizations, but love the work of the Boys & Girls Club because it is truly in our backyard and provides local kids with that little bit of support that can really change lives,” said Eric Kentor. “The mission of the Club appears to be pretty simple, provide local at risk kids with a place where they can learn, have fun, and develop the broad skills and character traits that give them a great chance in life. While the mission is pretty simple, we can profoundly change individual’s lives for the better. All of this is possible because of community support and a committed and talented staff.”


Christopher Murray

Christopher Murray is currently a partner and Vice President at Rosenheim & Associates, Inc. a land use consulting and advocacy firm, located in Warner Center. He has been with the firm for nearly nine years and has more than twenty years of experience in land-use planning and entitlements, real estate development, and environmental management services. He developed much of his early expertise through service with an international environmental engineering company, a California-based developer and operator of large-volume solid waste and recycling facilities, and a downtown Los Angeles law firm. 

Chris has been on the Board of the Boys & Girls Club for more than ten years and currently is the Vice Chair of the Facilities Committee and a member of the Club’s Executive Committee and is also a member of the Human Resources and Governance Committees.
He has many reasons for being on the Club’s Board, such as believing the Club inspires and enables all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Chris believes, “Through an amazing Board, the staff and volunteers, the Club is making a tangible and significant difference in our community.”

He enjoys working with and learning from his fellow Board Members; the range and breadth of their experiences is second to none. He also enjoys working with the Club’s staff because they truly care about the kids and it shows in everything they do. Ultimately, he wants to be sure we are providing the best service possible. The Club has continued to improve its services and to expand our membership.

“My parents instilled in me a sense of giving back to the community. As a result, I have participated in a number of non-profit organizations. The Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley has been the best organization, hands down, that I have had the privilege to work with. The level of care and concern of the Club’s staff and Board is unparalleled.”


Board Member Of The Month – April 2013
Bill Nethercott

Bill Nethercott is the Senior Vice President and Group Manager of First Bank’s Woodland Hills and Santa Barbara Commercial Banking Groups. He supervises a team of ten employees, five of them being Commercial Banking Relationship Managers covering the greater Los Angeles.

Bill was born in Berkeley and raised in Northern California. He graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration Finance. He is married to Julie Nethercott, is the father of two daughters, who both have graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a stepfather to three children.

Bill joined the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley’s Board in 2009 but took some time off in 2010. He rejoined in early 2011 and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Finance Committee. Bill’s interest on being on the Club’s Board is based on his strong desire to give back to the community; he loves helping children who haven’t been fortunate enough to get the breaks many other children have, based on economics, their family, and neighborhood circumstances.

“I have never been part of such a wonderful and worthwhile organization like the West Valley Boys & Girls Club, whose primary focus is serving children that have challenges that many other children are fortunate enough not to have. From the Board, to the wonderful staff and beautiful, vibrant, and smiling children, there is no better place to give back and be part of something really special. Whatever I can do to help other children is simply the ‘icing on the cake.’ I look forward to the day that most of my time is spent with those who need it the most.”



Board Members Of The Month – March 2013
Dwight Odland

Dwight Odland is currently the manager of New Business for United Technologies Aerospace and Space Systems. He has 25 years of experience in aerospace project management and has won a $134 million Space Station power system contract in 2011 from Boeing. Dwight also has experience in business development, marketing, finance, operations, and information technology.

Dwight has been a Boys & Girls Club Board member since 2003 and is the Chair of the Human Resources Committee and a member of the Executive Board. He has held previous positions in the Finance and Resource Development Committees.

“I wanted to serve on a Board to make a difference and the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley was a perfect fit for me. I enjoy working with my colleagues on the Board who come from highly varied backgrounds. We all care deeply and invest our time and resources to try to ensure that the Club is on solid ground financially, organizationally, and programmatically for the benefit of the kids and the community as a whole.”

Dwight’s goal as Chair on the Human Resources Committee is to ensure the staff is fairly compensated and treated well, has supportive policies, and is adequately trained. He says one of the biggest positive influences on Club members is the relationship they have with the staff. “We have an excellent staff who genuinely care about the kids and their futures.”


Scott Heimlich

Scott Heimlich is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the science education portfolio for Amgen and the Amgen Foundation, including the development and oversight of key signature programs across the U.S. and Europe.  Prior to joining Amgen in 2005, he served in various capacities throughout education, including positions at UCLA, USC, L.A. Pierce College, and a middle school in Japan.  He holds a B.A. with a specialization in education, a master’s degree and a doctorate in education from UCLA.

Scott has been a Boys & Girls Club Board member since 2008. “I enjoy being a part of an organization that’s making a difference in the lives of children, particularly children who grow up in my own community without the same opportunities as those in more affluent surroundings. It’s a great way to give back and a way to act on the important idea that’s been stated many times before, ‘they are all our children’.”

Board Members Of The Month – February 2013
Brent Guttman

Brent Guttman is a Managing Partner at FMS Financial Partners, Inc., a Financial Planning, Employee Benefits and Insurance Services firm headquartered in Encino.

Guttman has been on the Club’s Board since 2007 and is the Chair of the Program Committee. His interest in being on the Board is because the Club “provides me with an opportunity to be involved with an organization that truly changes lives. I greatly enjoy the privilege of assisting kids as they grow into our future community leaders. The Boys & Girls Club provides kids with an amazing opportunity and has been producing incredible results for many years. The Club helps our kids identify goals and then prepares them to work toward and achieve those goals. The Club truly changes lives and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to give back in this manner.”

He has been at FMS for 20 years and his expertise includes employee benefits, executive planning, retirement planning, investment and insurance planning for individuals, families, and businesses. Guttman acts as a consultant to CPAs, attorneys and other professionals, providing technical advice and creative Insurance and Financial Planning concepts.  

He has been the featured speaker for various corporations, seminars and business associations. Guttman’s mission is to assist his clients with the formulation of their goals, help them better understand potential obstacles, and provide pathways to overcome these obstacles and achieve their goals. Guttman’s clients greatly appreciate his dedication to service, detailed analysis and his ability to provide a strong education and understanding of concepts.


Ronda Wilkin

Ronda Wilkin has served as the Manager of Corporate Community Involvement for Blue Shield of California for the last eight years. She has professional experience in the corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, healthcare and professional services fields and develops innovative strategies for engaging employees and others in community involvement activities that help grow awareness and participation.

Ronda has served on the Marketing Committee of the Boys and Girls Club of the West Valley for more than five years and is on her second year as a Board member. Serving on the Board allows Ronda to make a strategic difference in the Club and to dive into issues that matter and help solve problems to better our Club and community for our kids.

As part of her community involvement, Ronda currently serves on the UC Davis Parents Council, is a member of the Los Angeles Community Leaders Group and the Governor’s office California Volunteers Business Partners Program.

Ronda has been married to local mortgage broker Dennis Wilkin for more than 22 years and has twins who have volunteered at the Club and are now freshman in college. When not at work, volunteering for the Club or visiting one of her kids, you can always find Ronda on the tennis courts.

“Today, we all know that the need for financial resources and human capital has never been greater. We have extraordinary challenges in our communities. The emotional connection I have to this club and the drive to want to do more to support our kids and see them succeed is contagious. At the end of the day being at the club makes me happy – it’s ‘helpers high.’”


Board Members Of The Month – January 2012
David Gaydos

David Gaydos has been at Wells Fargo Bank for 18 years as Vice President and Regional Sales Manager overseeing Merchant Services for all of Los Angeles, Central and Northern California. Gaydos joined the Club’s Board in June 2012 because of his interest in impacting children’s lives. When Gaydos was a child, he participated in boxing at a Boys & Girls Club in Queens, New York, which made a lasting impression on his life.

“The Boys & Girls Club provides many children encouragement and opportunities to achieve their dreams. The Club creates community support that stands behind them, opening many doors. I feel privileged to be part of the Boys & Girls Club and a family community that believes in our future.”


Joel Pollack

Joel Pollack was born and raised in New York. He took his undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati and his graduate studies at Columbia University. Pollack joined Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst & Young) public accountants after graduation and became a Certified Public Accountant in New York while at Ernst & Young in the early 1960s. During the 1970s and 1980s, he worked in financial management with various clients including Fedders Corporation, First Reality Investors, and Garvey Industries.

In the early 1990s, he moved to Los Angeles to be an Administrative Director for the John Wayne Cancer Institute, which he held for the next fifteen years. He is currently a financial consultant for companies in healthcare and real estate. Pollack is married with two sons, a stepdaughter, and two grandchildren.

Joel has been on the Boys & Girls Club Board for approximately eight years and is interested in being on the Club’s Board because he loves kids and would like to see most kids fulfill their potential with advanced education or good solid vocations.

“I have always felt it is important to give back my time, energy, or skills for all that I have received and enjoyed in my life. The Boys & Girls Club is a wonderful place to do that. Watching young children achieve their goals with the help of the Club puts a smile on my face.”


Board Members Of The Month – December 2012
Marty Cooper

Marty Cooper is the president of Cooper Communications Inc. and is a nationally recognized professional with extensive experience in strategic planning, financial relations, crisis management and communications, public relations, advertising, and promotion. Cooper has authored two books, one on the Academy Awards and one titled North of Mulholland, and is in the process of writing a third on crisis management and communications. Marty teaches marketing, strategic planning, and public relations at UCLA Extension and was named the UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor for 2010.

Marty is a Vice Chairman on the Club’s Board, is Chairman of the Marketing Committee, and has been involved for more than six years. His interest in being on the Club’s Board is, “Since I was a member of the Boys Club (as it was called then), serving on the West Valley Board is a way to share with today’s young people the guidance and fun I had as a Club member many years ago.”

“All the contributions and time one puts into this organization are paid back many times over by just walking through the Club and seeing the happy faces on young people who are learning, having fun, and maturing with the Club’s help. I get back many times over what I put into the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley.”



Sepand Samzadeh
Sepand Samzadeh is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Valley Recycling. He holds two degrees, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Pepperdine University. Sepand is the recipient of several business awards and has received Certificates of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles, California State Assembly and State Senate.

In addition to serving on the Club’s Board of Directors, Sepand is the Co-Chair of the Energy, Environment and Utilities Committee of Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA). He also serves on the VAL*Pac. He has been on the Club’s Board for more than two years and his interest for being on the Board is to make an impact on young peoples lives.


Board Members Of The Month- November 2012
Morris Bekas


Morris Bekas has been a Valley resident for more than 30 years. He and his wife raised their family in the Northridge area and currently live in Encino. Bekas attended California State University of Northridge and worked in executive positions of Fortune 500 companies for many years. He recently became involved in the insurance industry and acquired several Allstate Insurance agencies.

Morris has been on the Boys & Girls Club Board since March of 2009. He is interested in being on the Club’s Board because he wants to help young people in the West Valley who don’t have access to all forms of opportunity. He currently serves on the Resource Development Committee in addition to his duties as a Board member.

“Kids from elementary to high school age need to be exposed to what the world has to offer. The programs created and implemented by our Club present a significant impact on our kids and the surrounding community. The Club provides a solid foundation of social, educational, and emotional support for its members. My participation on the Board has shown me the results of true higher purpose. I’m thankful for the opportunity to help.”



Board Members Of The Month- October 2012
Clay Andrews

Clay Andrews has been the general manager of the Warner Center Marriott Hotel since October of 2008. He has more than 30 years of ongoing experience in the hospitality industry and a wide range of experience in the food and beverage industry. He has knowledge in classic French service, wine, and many different types of cuisine in culinary arts.

Andrews has lived in Northern California for 14 years and resides in the Valley with his three children. During his free time, he enjoys golfing, cooking, and collecting wine.

Clay has been on the Club’s Board since August of 2010. He is interested in being on the Club’s Board because it serves the community and he sees how much it benefits Club members.  He has served as the Chairman of the Club’s annual fundraiser, Club de Cuba and was a member of the 20th Anniversary Gala committee.

“I am proud to be a part of an organization that changes so many lives for the better and enriches our community!”

Thank you Clay Andrews for being a member of the Club’s Board of Directors!


Donald Weissman

Donald Weissman has his own law firm, Weismann Law Firm, which is located in Tarzana, California. He graduated from California State University of Northridge and received his Juris Doctor Degree from Loyola University of Los Angeles School of Law. Around the same time of receiving his degree, he was admitted to the State Bar of California.

Weissman specializes in litigation protecting the rights of businesses and businesspersons, areas of negligence, business issues, product liability, insurance related matters, malicious prosecution, and he represents victims of abuse and violent crimes.

Weissman has been on the Club’s Board of Directors for five years and serves on the Resource Development Committee and is the Club’s legal advisor. Weissman is interested in being on the Club’s Board because he believes it is the center activity for the Club. “From this perspective we see the benefits provided to the kids and the needs of the Club, whether they are community issues that may impact the Club, its services, or the financial issues.”

“We hear human interest stories of professional athletes who made it out of bad neighborhoods or college students who rose above the poverty or problems of their community or family history. We see this success daily at the Boys & Girls Club because it is a place where any kid has the benefit and opportunity to succeed. Not every kid is going to college or is going to be a doctor, but every kid should have the opportunity to make the choice and be given the tools for success. The West Valley Boys & Girls Club provides a platform for any kid who wants to learn and progress. It is heartwarming to work with an organization that helps these kids!”

Thank you Don Weissman for being a member of the Club’s Board of Directors!


Board Members Of The Month- September 2012
Jaemin Yang

Jaemin Yang began his career at Kaiser Permanente in 1985 as a Lab Assistant. He went back to school, became a Finance Director and now is the Food and Service Director. He also currently teaches Marketing and Negotiation at Mount St. Mary’s College. Jaemin has four degrees, a Bachelors in Molecular Biology and Chemistry, Masters in Business Administration, and Masters of Science in Finance.

He has been on the Club’s Board since 2009 and serves on the Finance Committee. He is interested in being on the Club’s Board because it is essential for all middle managers at Kaiser to be on a non-profit Board so he chose to be on the Boys & Girls Club Board. After being on the Club Board for three years, he has come to realize that the Boys & Girls Club Board is very professional, effective, passionate, and organized.

“I am privileged to work for an organization that has a real impact on young boys and girls’ lives. I am impressed that the first hour is dedicated to homework because education is the key for their future success. The statistics have shown that members of the Club have a higher GPA than those who are not. This opens doors to colleges and future opportunities. Many of the kids that I spoke with state that the Boys & Girls Club is not an organization but a family, a place of belonging and comfort.”

Thank you Jaemin Yang for being a part of the Club’s Board of Directors!



Board Members Of The Month- September 2012

Each month we would like to introduce the Club’s Board of Directors who volunteer their time and talent to support the Boys & Girls Club every day. Without them we wouldn’t be the strong organization we are today!

JAMES ADAMS

Jim Adams served as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent of schools in the Diocese of Sacramento prior to his current position as President of Chaminade College Preparatory. He has been in his present position since 1996. Jim graduated from California State University of Northridge and holds a Masters degree from the University of San Francisco in Education Administration. In 2010, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal named him the Best Not-For-Profit Executive. Jim is very active in the community and serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley and Advisory Council for Community Bank. He also has served on the Board of the Sacramento Blood Bank, the Heart Research Foundation, and Catholic Charities.

Jim has been on the Boys & Girls Club’s Board for more than three years. He is interested in being on the Club’s Board of Directors because he “can’t think of an organization anywhere in the Valley that does so much to help deserving young people who otherwise wouldn’t have a place to go after school. The Club does a phenomenal job of providing a stimulating, structured atmosphere for these kids.”

“The West Valley Boys & Girls Club serves some very worthy young people who would struggle to find meaningful activities and needed structure in their lives. The Club is a great opportunity for individuals and businesses to invest in the future of our community by helping to develop the next generation of leaders here in the Valley. The Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley is a place where one can make a real difference in the lives of kids!”

Thank you Jim Adams for being a part of the Club’s Board of Directors!



Volunteer Of The Month- August 2012
Carlos Sandoval

Carlos Sandoval

Carlos Sandoval currently works for Blue Shield of California as the eLearning Technical Lead in the IT Learning & Knowledge and Management office. He graduated UCLA with a BA in Linguistics/Computer Science. Carlos has been a computer programmer in the online training field since 1993.

He first became involved with the Club when he participated in a cleanup and painting day for the Club’s current location. “During my painting session I asked who was going to help with their computer lab. The rest is history. I now help manage the web site.”

Carlos became interested in helping the Club because when he was younger, he would hang out at the Boys & Girls Club located in Pacoima.

“I remember playing foosball and checkers with other kids. I now appreciate the safe and fun place the Club provided for my brother’s and me. I want to help make sure the kids today also have a safe and fun place to attend. I recognize that organized and structured activities help kids develop socially and mentally. The Club has helped me grow socially and also showed me how to handle responsibilities.”

Carlos Sandoval enjoys being part of the Club because it helps today’s youth develop into tomorrow’s adults. “The Club is doing its part in helping produce balanced and productive citizens in our community.”

Thank you Carlos, for making a difference in the community!

For volunteer opportunities, please contact President/CEO Jan Sobel at 818-610-1054 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Volunteer Of The Month - July 2012
Chris Little

Chris LittleChris Little has been volunteering at the Club since 2009 and has been working as the Club’s email marketer/webmaster. Chris has been volunteering and engaging in philanthropic work for the community ever since he was a child. At a young age, he joined a Christian based kid’s program called AWANA.

“There were great examples that inspired me to start serving as an AWANA leader, after I completed the program. Much like the Boys and Girls Club, the AWANA program helps kids of all ages by giving them a safe place to learn and providing great leaders to mentor them.”

At the age of 18, Chris joined the Armed Forces and served as a computer administrator for the aviation center at Fort Rucker, Arkansas. “Throughout my experiences in the military, I learned how to give back to the community around me by offering security and dedicated service.” After he completed his service to the Armed Forces, Chris joined a 12-step program called Celebrate Recovery. This program is a Christian based program that helps members overcome life’s obstacles, such as drugs, alcohol, divorce, and abuse.

“In order to help the members of Celebrate Recover, I worked on a farm that donated to the organization. With hard work and perseverance, we raised enough money to buy property and build halfway homes for several struggling members.” In 2004, Chris moved back to California to pursue a degree in Art, and in 2009 he graduated with a B.A.

“I love that I get to bring Club supporters the latest news about the WVBGC events and fundraisers. I get to see, first hand, how much this organization gives back to the community, and I am honored to be a small part of that. It’s been a pleasure working with Jan Sobel and staff for the past few years and I look forward to continuing my services to the Club.”

Thank you Chris, for making a difference in the community!

For volunteer opportunities, please contact President/CEO Jan Sobel at 818-610-1054 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Volunteer Of The Month - June 2012
Brain Harr

Brain Harr Brian Harr has been an active volunteer since 2010. He is the Executive News Editor at the Los Angeles Daily News and has been at the paper since 1998. He is married with two children and is also actively involved at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley where he met his wife.

Brian has played a major role in the Club’s Marketing Committee. He has been a big asset as a liaison between the Club and the Daily News. He is also the Co-Chairman of the Club’s 20th Anniversary Marketing Sub-Committee. He enjoys volunteering because he is a true supporter of the Club’s mission to provide a safe and positive place for kids. “It is programs like these that give kids a fighting chance and a support system they might not otherwise have,” says Brian.

"The Club is a great service for the kids and the surrounding community. The Club's track record over the past 20 years is clearly evident in the surrounding area. The impact the Club has is far-reaching and the changed lives of the kids who belong are evidence of the Club's vital role in the community."

Thank you Brian, for all that you do for the Club and for the community!

For volunteer opportunities, please contact President/CEO Jan Sobel at 818-610-1054 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Volunteer Of The Month - May 2012
Adrienne Kentor

Adrienne Kentor Adrienne Kentor has been volunteering at the Club since 2008. She has been a valuable volunteer for Club members involved in the Power Hour Program at the Main Clubhouse, which offers academic assistance to Club members after school. She has also been an important participant in helping plan and produce various events throughout the year, such as the Halloween Haunted House.

Adrienne enjoys working with the Club because she feels that it makes a huge difference in the lives of children in the West Valley community. “It is something that I can see and feel every time I come to the Club. I love that everything in the Club is so hands-on and I am inspired by the staff. Whenever I watch them with the kids, I can just feel how much they care.”

Adrienne particularly likes to help with homework because she is a huge supporter of academics and education and loves working with children. “It's just a natural fit for me,” she says. “The Boys and Girls Club is a place that truly makes a difference in the lives of children every day and in so many ways - whether it's through homework help, dance, sports, art or just an opportunity for them to hand out in a safe environment. I am inspired every time I walk into the Club.”

Adrienne has a B.A. from Pomona College and a J.D. and M.B.A. from UCLA. She is married to Board Member Eric Kentor, and is the mother of two daughters. In addition to volunteering at the Club, she volunteers for Lockhurst Elementary’s Reading Program and in her spare time enjoys yoga, hiking, and dogs.

Thank you Adrienne, for making a difference in the community!

For volunteer opportunities, please contact President/CEO Jan Sobel at 818-610-1054 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Volunteer Of The Month - April 2012
Karen Romagnano

Ira HarrlesonKaren Romagnano has been a very helpful and valuable member of the Club’s Events Committee over the past year, especially as Co-Chair of the Auction for Club de Cuba, the Club’s largest annual fundraiser.

Karen has been married to Board Member Patrick Romagnano for fourteen years. She attended UC Riverside and Southwestern University School of Law, but stopped practicing law to take care of her two children, Arianna (9) and Trevor (7). This allows her to volunteer at her children’s school and sports teams, as well as volunteer with the Club. Karen is passionate about being involved with the Club because she believes in the organization’s mission to help the youth of today get on the right path to future success.

“Philanthropy is something very important to our family, and we have begun teaching it to our children at a very young age. We believe in giving back to the community that we live in and helping provide opportunities to people who may not otherwise have access to them. The Boys & Girls Club is a wonderful organization that my family is proud to be a part of.”

Thank you Karen, for making a difference in the community!

For volunteer opportunities, please contact President/CEO Jan Sobel at 818-610-1054 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Volunteer Of The Month - March 2012
Ed Crowe

Ira HarrlesonEd Crowe is the Owner of Crowe Marketing Design and publisher of the West Valley News. He has been a valuable member of the Club’s Marketing & Communications Committee since 2007, where he has helped transform the Club by increasing awareness about its physical presence in the community and the value of its after-school programs to disadvantaged youth.

As a publisher of a monthly community newspaper, he helps bring attention to the Club by publishing press releases and a providing a visual record of all the positive transformation that has occurred since 2007.

Few people are as involved in West Valley community affairs as is Ed Crowe. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the West Valley B.O.O.S.T.E.R.S.; a member of four chambers of commerce; on the Executive board of the local Toastmasters International; and a member of the Organizing Committee of the Main Street Canoga Park Día de los Muertos Street Festival.

“I believe that youth is the future of our community and the nation as a whole. Helping guide the future of our disadvantaged youth is important; directly or indirectly, I want to contribute to that end. I’m happy to be part of a team that believes in positive change and putting words into actions.

Thank you Ed, for making a difference for more than 3,400 disadvantaged youth. We are grateful for your service to the community!


For volunteer opportunities, please contact President/CEO Jan Sobel at 818-610-1054 or j.sobel@wvbgc.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Volunteer Of The Month - February 2012
Ira Harrison

Ira HarrlesonIra Harrison, owner of IH Communications telephone and computer networking company, is a very active community volunteer. In addition to years of dedicated volunteer work at the Club, he has been a PTA President, Tee-Ball Coach, and member of Neighborhood Watch. IH Communications has been volunteering at the Club for more than ten years by providing services such as wiring, phone systems, networking, and technical support. Ira says, “I was there the first day they moved into the [Main Clubhouse] and the transformation that place has made is incredible.”

Ira grew up in a family of community volunteers. The Boys & Girls Club holds a special place in his heart because as a child, he was a Club Member at the Boys & Girls Club in Pacoima and vividly remembers the important role the Club played in his upbringing and the impact it made on his life.

Ira says, “As a volunteer I see how hard the staff works to bring resources from the community and to share them with the children. I am proud to be associated with the West Valley Boys and Girls Club and will continue to help them however I can.”

We thank you Ira, for your years of hard work and dedication, and for being a true philanthropist in the community.

For volunteer opportunities, please contact President/CEO Jan Sobel at 818-610-1054 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Volunteer Of The Month - January 2012
Corinne Kentor

Carol Grant Seventeen-year-old Corinne Kentor is a senior at New Community Jewish High School in West Hills, where she is the co-editor of the school’s newspaper and literary magazine. She considers herself to be a bookworm and enjoys yoga and baking in her free time, but her true passion is education. She has actively participated at the Club since her freshman year of high school, where she has been able to make a difference for Club members, not only through academic assistance, but also by being a great role model and mentor. Corinne has also been a helpful volunteer for the Club’s Halloween Event, Cooper Reading Challenge, and Hip-Hop
Dance Classes where she loves to interact with the kids.

According to Corinne, “I feel as if I am able to provide a much needed service and to truly fulfill the essential mission of the Boys’ and Girls’ Club by creating a new and exciting path to education. Through all my work at the Club, I have found what it truly means to be a teacher. These kids have redefined my idea of education and truly inspired me in countless ways.”

Thank you Corinne, for your outstanding leadership in the youth community, and for inspiring other young people to make a difference in the lives of more than 3,400 children at the Club.

For volunteer opportunities, please Contact President/CEO Jan Sobel at 818-610-1054 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Volunteer Of The Month - December 2011
Carol Grant

Carol GrantCarol Grant is the Regional Facility Solutions Manager for Staples and has been actively involved with the Club for three years. She has been a hard working, diligent, and reliable volunteer who really loves helping Club kids.

Carol has been one of our most hands-on volunteers, not only by donating, attending, and actively participating in the setup and preparation of several events, but also recruiting her team of employees to join in on the philanthropy! Carol and Staples have donated many office supplies and Staples gift cards to the Club.

”After touring the facility and meeting the great team associated with the West Valley Club, it became abundantly clear the impact the Boys & Girls Club has on supporting the youth of our community through tutoring, mentoring and caring about their well being. It’s great that the kids have a safe place to be after school to have fun, make friends, have role models to support them and help them make smart decisions that will impact their lives.”

For volunteer opportunities, please Contact Development Director Diane Jones at 818-610-1054.



Article 1a COVERThank you to Managing Director, Chris Brannigan, and all the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation employees who spent a fun-filled day participating in the Club’s Project Learn, College Bound, and Triple Play Programs with Club members. Together they enjoyed enrichment activities such as math competitions, college and career counseling, and sports games! We appreciate you for participating hands-on in Club programs with our youth.

Volunteer Of The Month - November 2011
Angela Fentiman

Michon Pinnix Angela Fentiman is a true Jack-of-all-trades. Not only is she the Director of External Affairs for the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA), an Instructor at UCLA Extension, and Adjunct Professor at California Lutheran University, but she is also Vice-Chairman of the Club's Marketing Committee, where she has used her background in communication and public relations to help the organization tremendously.

"I am involved with the Boys and Girls Club of the West Valley, because all children should have a safe place to go after school where they can find mentors who genuinely care about them. The Club provides this safe and caring environment, along with interesting and exciting learning opportunities for children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to these experiences."

Thank you, Angela, for your outstanding work at the Club!

For volunteer opportunities, please Contact Development Director Diane Jones at 818-610-1054.



Volunteers Of The Month - October 2011
Students of Chaminade College Preparatory School

Michon PinnixMore than 60 middle school students from Chaminade College Preparatory School volunteered at the Club’s 5th Annual Mile of Quarters Event at the Westfield Topanga on Sept. 24. The Chaminade students were up bright and early on a Saturday morning to help kick-start the event. They were involved in everything from laying down thousands of quarters to collecting donations from mall patrons.

“It was a win-win for the students. They collected over $800 for the Club and had a great time doing it,” said Chaminade President Jim Adams
, who is also an active member of the Club’s Board of Directors.

Thank you Chaminade students, for making a difference for more than 3,100 disadvantaged youth of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley! We appreciate your service to the community.

Please Contact Director of Development Diane Jones for volunteer opportunities at (818) 610-1054.


Volunteer Of The Month - September 2011
Terry Stevens

Michon PinnixTerry Stevens, Account Executive at Cooper Communications, Inc. has been an active member of the Club's Marketing Committee for three years. As the front-runner in the area of media relations for the Club, Terry has played a crucial role in generating and increasing involvement of community members to the Club. Terry says, "The Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley is an extremely rewarding organization to be involved with because the work we do goes directly to helping serve the needs of the families in the community. It is a privilege to work with a group of volunteers who are dedicated to ensuring the ongoing availability of a safe and caring after-school and summer environment for the children in the community." It is a privilege to have people like you, Terry, involved with the Club to help achieve our mission to inspire and enable our youth to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

Please Contact Development Director Diane Jones for volunteer opportunities at 818-610-1054.


VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH - August 2011
Michon Pinnix

Michon Pinnix

Although she just moved to California from Florida last year, Michon Pinnix has become an active member of the West San Fernando Valley community by volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley in her free time. She has participated as a member of the Events Committee over the past year, and recently Co-Chaired Club De Cuba in May, which is one of the Club’s most important annual fundraising events.

Michon is a graduate of Spelman College, Georgia Tech, Stanford and Harvard Business School where she received her undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and graduate degrees in Engineering and Business. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the American Association of University Women. Michon currently works as a Senior Business Manager at Amgen in Thousand Oaks. ”Serving is my way of not only giving back to a system that has providing me great access and opportunity, but also gives me a sense of belonging and purpose" says Michon.

 

Thank you Michon, for making a difference for more than 3,100 disadvantaged youth of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley! We appreciate your service to the community.


VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH - July 2011
Joyce
Emerson-Greenberg

joyce.jpg Article 6a COVER Thank you to Joyce Emerson-Greenberg is a State Farm Insurance agent who volunteers at the Club regularly. She recently donated 10 tickets to the Cars II movie premier along with lunch for the kids. Joyce has donated useful first aid and homework supplies to the Club and has participated in our annual Mile of Quarters event and championed State Farm grant funding to support important youth programs.

She has also encouraged many of her colleagues and employees from State Farm to get involved with the Club. Katie Pieroni, a State Farm employee who works with Joyce has been a loyal volunteer and member of the Boys & Girls Fan Club for the past year.

Thank you Joyce, for making a difference for more than 3,100 disadvantaged youth of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley! We are more than grateful for your service to the community.



Article 2bMore than fifteen BAXTER employees joined Club members on July 8 for a fun-filled Hawaiian-themed Carnival! Together they had fun in the sun by playing water balloon toss, pin-the-fin, and coconut bowling! Thank you to Baxter for visiting the Club and sharing a fun-filled, special day with our Summer Camp kids!



Young Philanthropist Reaching Out To Youth

Article5 COVER Kyle and his mom, Jill AuseFifteen-year-old Kyle Ause is a young philanthropist – over winter break, he volunteered at the Club to help paint and spruce up the Clubhouse for the kids’ return. Kyle says, “When mom tells me about some of the kids at the Club and how they’ve had a hard time in life, it makes me think about how lucky I’ve been.”

Kyle’s mom is Jill Ause, who joined the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley in November 2010. He was inspired to donate $25 to the Club after hearing his mom talk enthusiastically about her experience there.

In addition to Kyle’s monetary gift to the Club, he decided to donate his time over winter break. “The Club kids were not there but some of the other volunteer there were kids I went to middle school with so that made it more fun.”

Kyle has attended private schools all of his life. He loves sports, and is on the scholl football, track and field, and soccer teams.

Thank you, Kyle, for your outstanding leadership in the youth community, and for inspiring other young people to make a difference in the lives of more than 2,800 youth at the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley. You are one terrific model for us all!

 
 
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