Rodriguez hopes to expand B&G Club's teen programming
By Anna Goodwin McCarthy
Saturday, July 7, 2018
As the new club director of the Elizabeth City Unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Albemarle, Hashira Rodriguez wants to expand teen programming and increase community involvement.
“There is so much potential here,” Rodriguez said in a recent interview. “I want to be a part of that.”
Rodriguez began her position in Elizabeth City at the end of May. She said she learned about the job opportunity here through a website.
“This was taking a leap of faith, and it worked out beautifully,” said Rodriguez, who moved here from New Hampshire.
Rodriguez previously served as the teen director for the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester in Manchester, New Hampshire. She also worked as a youth counselor for the city of Manchester.
“I am a club kid,” said Rodriguez. “I grew up in the Boys & Girls Club.”
Rodriguez said she became a member of the Boys & Girls Club in Manchester when she was in elementary school. She went on to be recognized as the club’s 2004 Youth of the Year, she said.
“I had great mentors at the club,” said Rodriguez.
As a teen, Rodriguez said the Boys & Girls Club helped her visit college campuses. Rodriguez would go on to enroll at Springfield College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in human services. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Southern New Hampshire University.
When she went to work for the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester, Rodriguez said she was able to take kids to national conferences.
“I took kids to Texas, and they had barbecue for the first time,” she said.
Rodriguez said for some of the kids, it was their first opportunity to fly on an airplane and visit places like Disney World.
Rodriguez said she would like to offer similar opportunities for kids in Elizabeth City.
“I am hoping we can start some leadership programs here,” she said.
Rodriguez looks forward to community collaborations.
“We are always looking for volunteers,” she said.
Rodriguez said the club’s summer camp in Elizabeth City is currently full, and registration for the afterschool program will begin this month.
The afterschool program will include opportunities for tutoring with a focus on reading and writing and STEM activities. Rodriguez said she would also like to offer dance, music and arts programs.
“That is where my heart has always been,” said Rodriguez, referring to Boys & Girls Clubs. “The club means a lot to me.”
For more information about the Elizabeth City Unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Albemarle, visit the organization’s Facebook page or call 335-5276.