Experiences and lessons learned at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County have an impact long after a member graduates from high school. For DJ Thompson, that impact is still influencing how he goes through life.
The college senior is back at the Club this summer, helping run activities in the gym. It’s the perfect fit for the sports administration major at Ball State University.
Thompson attended the local Club from the time he was in sixth grade through high school.
“I think it was good for me. I’m an only child so it helped provide social skills because they were lacking at that time,” he said.
Thompson was involved in Torch Club and Keystone Club, which provide leadership development opportunities for teens. Youth participate in activities in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation and community service. He was also involved in various sports leagues.
“Torch Club and Keystone Club teach you valuable life lessons and get you involved in the community. The payoff is getting to go to the national Keystone Conference. I got to go to the conference in Atlanta,” Thompson said. “I think for sports, it offers an alternative when people can’t make the team at the high school level to still be able to participate.”
As he looks to the future, Thompson said Club helped him realize he wants to work with kids in high school. His goal is to become a high school athletic director.
“I love it here. Club made me realize I wanted to do something with youth. Even as an adult, this place is still helping me figure things out,” he said. “I feel like it’s important to give back to the community. I think through sports, I’m able to do that while having passion for my work.