He’s been working for the Goshen Club for the past year, but his connection goes back more than 14 years! Tyler Hager spends his afternoons in the gym for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County as an athletics assistant.
He starting coming to the Goshen Club in 2009 as a member. Before joining the team, he spent time as a volunteer. Hager credits the Club with changing his life.
“I don’t know what I would have done without this Club. I think I would have taken a bad path if I didn’t have the influences that helped shape my life. It was my turning point. If I didn’t change, I was going to go down a path I didn’t want to go on,” he said.
Hager said, as a member, staff recognized him with the “180 Award” for turning around his attitude. The propelled him to get involved in other activities. He won “Youth of the Year” as well, but remembers Club as being a fun place with mentors who helped guide him. It’s something he works to recreate for today’s members.
“They’re the ones that got me involved in the Club. I’m very fortunate to have those good people in my life,” he said. “I try to recreate some of the experiences I had as a member. There are so many things that I remember and want to help bring back so members today can experience it, too.”
Hager said his philosophy of relating to the members is simple.
“I try to be a role model to them. I want to be a cool staff member, be relaxed, but firm so they’ll remember me years from now. I want them to say, ‘I remember that guy Tyler. He let us do this and this…’,” Hager said.
Club has become a legacy for his family. After he started attending Club, some of the foster kids in his family did as well. Now, his two younger brothers attend.
“I want to tell the kids my story. How I grew through Club, and how I got to where I am now. When you love the job you’re doing, you got to make things happen. It’s a lot of fun,” he said.