‘We’re cultivating students academically’: Grand Strand Boys and Girls Club welcomes new CEO
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Just in time for the new school year, teachers aren’t the only ones preparing for students to return to the classroom.
Grand Strand community leaders are also getting ready to welcome back students to their after-school programs.
WMBF News sat down with the new CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand, as she shared her vision for students heading back to school.
Dr. Karen Vassell was named the newest leader for the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand at the end of July.
“To see the smiles on the children’s faces, it just filled my heart,” Vassell said.
Vassell said she is no stranger to public education.
“I’ve served in various roles as a guidance counselor, assistant principal, director at school districts, and I just have a great love for children and making sure that they reach their next level,” she said.
For 25 years, The Grand Strand Boys and Girls Club has served first-grade through twelfth-grade students with a mission of reaching those who need it most.
Vassell said she looks forward to tying together arts and academics through theatre. She added that Esports and STEM will be highlighted in the after-school programs.
According to Vassell, there are three elements she is ready to target sooner than later.
“Fostering a healthy lifestyle, also the workforce skills of our young boys and girls and building that good character and leadership skills,” said Vassell.
When it comes to keeping the students once they walk the doors after school, Vassell explains it’s all about making them feel welcome.
“We pretty much are the bridge between home and school,” she said. “We provide not only academics but the support they need maybe through if they’re having peer pressure or things going on like that make sure they have a listening ear.”
From power hour devoting specific time to students’ studies or triple play where all the fun goes down, Vassell said she is ready to take their program to the next level.
“Most after-school programs focus on just watching the children but we offer enrichment. We’re cultivating students academically.”
The center will welcome back students on Monday as the Horry County school bell rings.
Vassell said the center is always looking for volunteers, mentors, and counselors.
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