When he left his position as the director for the Palmview Boys and Girls Youth Club, Juan Arevalo saw it thriving.
Since serving as its director for the last four years, Arevalo saw membership increase from 200 to 5,000 participating in multiple year-long sports programs for the Palmview youth club. Arevalo said he hopes to continue with that increase as the new director for Mission’s Boys and Girls Club of America, a position he started Monday.
“I live in Mission so my kids are excited for me to be in the same city they’re in” Arevalo said. “I feel like I’ve been called to serve my community and that’s what I’m doing. I love working with the community and schools and seeing all the enrichment programs the Mission club has to offer and I’m excited to contribute.”
As the new director, Arevalo will oversee all four facilities of the Boys and Girls Club which offers afterschool, sports and community outreach programs for the youth in the area. Currently, the Mission club has more than 1,250 children as members taking advantage of the club, Arevalo said, adding he plans to increase that number to 3,000 by the end of the year with tactics he learned from his days at Palmview.
“We’d always attend school events to promote our Palmview club to ensure every student from elementary through high school was involved in the youth club and I’d like the same for Mission,” Arevalo said. “Even though this club has been established for so many years a lot of people may not be aware what it can offer as a resource to the kids of the community. It’s a positive place for kids to become involved.”
Despite setting up several new programs for Palmview during his four years there, Arevalo said he feels disappointed he won’t be able to see the opening of the city’s first ever technology center, a media laboratory that will be open to the public in 2019 he said he helped set up.
For the city of Mission, Arevalo said he plans to look into the possibility of implementing several new programs at the club at the start of the next fiscal year this coming October. The programs include a music program, a robotics program and an after school free dinner program. These programs would be in addition to the services the club already offers such as an arts and crafts program, a fitness program and an alcohol and drug prevention program as well as the different sports leagues it offers throughout the year.
“We’re excited for the things coming and things we have in place,” Arevalo said. “We’re trying to do what is best for our kids and our community and I have my staff, city council, mayor, the school district, and the rest of the community behind me. I’m ready for what’s ahead.”