DENVER (CBS4) – These Boys and Girls Club kids may look like they are just creating art right now but they are honing skills to use later on in life.
“This is the next generation of leaders for our country,” explained John Barry, the new President and CEO of The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver.
Kalyn Brame is a long time member of the club, who now works at the new location off Holly Street. To her, the club is a home away from home.
“Boys and Girls Clubs in general teach you what you want to be in life basically,” said Brame.
The club aims to guide kids from ages six to 18 in a safe environment with caring, adult supervision. In return, they hope to get a positive response from the kids.
“I’m able to feel comfortable asking them certain questions and dealing with certain problems that have been on my mind and I feel not necessarily everybody needs to know about,” said 18-year-old Timothy Durst.
John Barry recently took over as President and CEO after serving as the superintendent for Aurora Public Schools. He is learning everything he can about the Boys and Girls Clubs. He even gave himself 90 days to tour every club within the Denver metro area.
“Now I have the chance to work with another amazing team to help defend the right of children to maximize their potential,” said Barry.
Barry recognizes that there are more kids than clubs and more needs than money available. For that reason he is trying to be very hands on.
“To be able to see the light in kids’ eyes when they see something that they can be excited about, I mean there’s no bigger pay off than that in the world,” said Barry.
Now the kids are welcoming the community into their Boys and Girls Club. As part of that effort, the kids have been playing with and decorating a blue door all week long. They believe it symbolizes an open door for anyone.
“We are committed to be able to widen that understanding, to widen that time horizon, so it’s not just next weekend they’re worried about, it’s five years from now,” said Barry.
You can also buy a raffle ticket to win a dream house worth over $2.5 million or one of 1,100 other prizes being given away. The deadline to buy tickets is May 16.
–written for CBSDenver.com by Conor McCue