The Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County is a big part of Shellica Trevino’s life.
“People from the clubs were at our wedding and they celebrated the births of our kids,” she said. “It’s really an extension of our family.”
So it was especially thrilling for Trevino, branch director of the Lacey Boys & Girls Club, to have many of those honorary family members attend a surprise ceremony last week where she received a Maytag Dependable Leader Award for her outstanding service to youth.
The award, which included a $20,000 check, was delivered by the Maytag Repairman himself.
The Olympian talked with Trevino about the award and her career. Here are excerpts of the conversation:
Question: For people who aren’t familiar with the organization, what is the Boys & Girls Club, and what does it do?
Answer: We offer after-school programs to school-age children. We have a variety of programs including sports, recreation, health and career development.
We offer Power Hour, which is homework time. We have partnerships with the school district so that we can help kids who are struggling academically, and those who are at standard.
Q: What is your educational background?
A: The clubs are my education. I graduated form high school and I started working at a Boys & Girls Club right afterward. I plan to apply for a degree program through the University of Phoenix.
Q: How did you get involved in the Boys & Girls Club?
A: I started working at the clubs when I was 19. I had graduated high school, and my husband now, who was my significant other then, worked at one and told me a lot about it. I started working at one in California. … We ended up working there for three and a half years.
When we moved up here, I began working at the Tumwater Boys & Girls Club in their game room. I came to Lacey in 2006. I’ve worked in the office, worked with kids and now I’m running this branch. (Her husband Jessie Trevino is the program director for the Tumwater Boys & Girls Club.)
Q: What do you love about working for the Boys & Girls Club?
A: What I love about working at the club is that I’m able to work with the families who need it the most. I can remember when I was growing up, there were lots of resources that were available to my family and there were people who were there for us. … There are club members who are experiencing what I experienced when I was a kid. I like connecting families with resources. That’s huge for me, and that’s what keeps me here.
I also like that there’s a family environment where co-workers and supervisors are there for you, and it’s a great atmosphere to work in — and that helps you do your job even better.
Q: Tell us about the award.
A: The award is a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Maytag. Every year, Maytag awards it to 24 individuals. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County will receive $20,000 for the award.
Q: What was your reaction?
A: My boss told me that we were having a Career Day and I was under the impression that we had board members coming in to speak to club members about what they do as a profession.
When the Maytag Repairman came out with the check … the kids were absolutely astounded.
… I tend to cry a lot, and I can be an emotional person. To be recognized for something that already blesses me? I can’t really describe that.
It was humbling.
Q: What does your organization plan to do with the money?
A: The first $10,000 is designated to outcome measurements — we’re already working on the Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth Outcomes Initiative. … We’re not just running activities, we’re running programs that are evidence-based.
The other $10,000 is going to support a teen program that helps with college prep résumés, etc.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: Honestly, like I said, the club is like a family to me and I’ve met so many mentors working in this movement. It’s nice to be recognized, but it’s also a very rewarding career, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 firstname.lastname@example.org @Lisa_Pemberton