MCCOY’s Everyday Champion this month, Rob Thomson, the Youth Enrichment School Age Program Director at the South Branch YMCA, was nominated by Rebecca Linehan our January award winner.
“Rob was a Journey Fellow with me in 2009, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. I nominated Rob as an Everyday Champion because he has worked on behalf of youth for many years and has a passion for providing youth with fun and influential activities. He is respected by his employees and is a team leader. His staff enjoys working for him which fosters a healthy environment for youth to succeed.” said Rebecca.
Rob, who worked at Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis before beginning at YMCA in December of 2006, regularly asks how his old staff and co-workers at Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis are doing. According to Rebecca, he also often inquires about how certain kids that he worked with while at Boys and Girls Clubs are doing. He shares stories about those kids that are still connected to our organization and continuously hopes for their futures to be bright.
Rob recently sat down to answer some questions about what makes him February’s Everyday Champion.
1. What is your profession?
I am the Youth Enrichment School Age Program Director at the South Branch YMCA. Our branch provides before and after school programming for students from Beech Grove, Center Grove, Clark Pleasant, Edinburgh, Franklin Township, Greenwood, Perry Township and Southport Presbyterian Christian schools. It is my duty to manage our before and after school programs, staff, fiscal budgets and grant writing.
2. How are you an Everyday Champion for Youth?
In my role, it’s a joy to help parents with their children and to be able to give them hope that we are here to help. That’s my favorite part of my job, to encourage parents and help families in need by reassuring them that their children are taken care of when they are in our services and beyond. When a parent calls me or needs help, I drop what I am doing to help them out with their problem and connect them with the resources they need to help with children succeed
3. What impact do you hope to make on youth?
I hope to provide the best programming for youth that’s available before and after school. I support and encourage my wonderful staff that comes up with the programming ideas and help them implement them. I also work with all eight of our school corporation partnerships to work with their unique needs. I spend a lot of time developing positive relationships with principals so that together we can identify student needs and supply solutions for all.
4. What’s one thing that you wish an adult had told you when you were a young person?
As a youngster, I grew up with a strong single mom supporting me. Even though I had a strong value system, and treated people well, I got into a little mischief as a teenager and college student. I wish an adult would have told me to stop being so stubborn and to realize my future potential and to utilize my skills to better myself and others. I also wish that I had found faith and spirituality at an earlier age. I have been blessed in my life, and it took me a while to realize that.
5. What do you want to do next to support youth?
Like any young professional in a middle management position, I hope to one day lead an organization that is doing good for our communities children. I want and enjoy leading people in service to our community and to our communities’ most vulnerable individuals.
6. Do you work directly with youth or families?
In my position, I work with parents in “putting out fires” and listening to their needs for their children. We serve parents and youth, and look through their eyes in a non-biased way to understand their needs.
Do you know an Everyday Champion? Nominate them here!