Terry Mitchell, the location’s current executive director, describes himself as a Boys and Girls Club “lifer.”
Mitchell has been at Draper for the past five years and was previously the program director before being promoted to executive director.
“I grew up in the organization beginning at age 6,” he said. “I worked back home in Montgomery, Ala. as a director for 11 or 12 years, then I moved to Atlanta.”
As executive director, Mitchell is responsible for overseeing all daily operations and facilitation of programs.
That means when students begin streaming in around 3 p.m. each weekday afternoon for the after-school program, he is responsible for making sure that all of the members, falling between the ages of 6 to 18, arrive and get settled.
Once they are settled, Mitchell and fellow staff members ensure that each member receives a snack and works on their homework.
Around 4 p.m., members begin program rotation, which could include physical activity in the gym, time in the technology lab, creating a masterpiece in the arts room or lounging in the teen area, if they are of age.
Mitchell’s commitment to the organization has been unwavering all these years because of the investment Boys and Girls Club had in him.
“I grew up in a very tough environment,” he said. “A lot of violence and drug use, but in the midst of all of that, the Boys and Girls Club was less than a mile away. It was a safe haven for me. I feel obligated to give back to an organization that has given me so much.”
For parents who are interested in membership for their children at Jesse Draper, they must come to the location and complete an application as well as pay a one time $35 fee, which will make their child a member for one year.
Upcoming events and programs include an Easter egg hunt, Cinco de Mayo celebration and an eight-week summer camp.