A common theme that ties employees at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County together is the desire to inspire and empower our members. That’s what Ryan Morris tries to do each day.
The program assistant has been part of the Nappanee Club team since last fall. He arrives at the Club each afternoon — after completing a day at his full-time job.
“My job was slow in the winter so I was looking for something to fill the gap. I didn’t just want a paycheck I wanted something that was making a difference in the community. I saw the Club mission statement and thought it was a place where I could make an impact in kids’ lives,” Morris said.
The father of four has worked as a youth pastor in the past. He gets joy from the days where he can see he’s making an impact and said that makes the long days worthwhile.
“I try to remember the moments when you have conversations with a kid who needs a voice that can speak truth in their lives and encourage them and let them know someone cares. When I get to have those interactions, it refuels me for the days when things don’t go as smoothly,” he said.
Morris said he wants to let them know they have a purpose.
“Even today, I was talking to some juniors who were at the front desk helping out. They’re not just receiving things here, they’re able to participate and help out. They have a voice,” he said.
He said it’s important for members to realize they’re seen by the adults at the Club.
“They’re not just another face, another number, but each one of them needs to feel like they’re seen when they walk through the doors,” Morris said.
He’s been inspired by his fellow team members who work hard to impact the lives of Club members and said that’s the reason members choose to spend time at the Nappanee Club.
“Kids have a choice to be a hundred different places, but there’s a good crowd here who choose to come. That speaks volumes about the experience they’re getting here. It’s a place kids want to be. It also speaks volumes about the staff here that they create a place where the kids want to be,” Morris said.