"Having places like the Club to go to helps kids like me and really the whole community. Especially now, during the COVID-19 crisis, there’s nowhere else to go. The Club is the only place for hope and opportunity in Bellevue for so many kids." -Brian Hughes, BGCB IT Director and Hidden Village Clubhouse Alumnus
MENTORS & COMPUTERS
At an earlier point in Brian's life, it may have been hard to predict his current success. As a middle schooler living in Bellevue’s Hidden Village public housing developments, he moved between abusive, alcoholic homes and had a reputation for trouble-making...
Brian's first experience with the Club was when he was 12 years old. At the time, the Hidden Village Clubhouse Director Mark Haines knew him as one of the kids that made regular stops at the Club to check email and play computer games, but scattered when it came time to participate in Club programs.
However, Mark was aware of Brian's difficult family life and made a point of engaging him by offering technology opportunities, allowing him to repair broken computers, and rewarding respect and good behavior with video games. He soon earned a part-time job as the computer lab manager where he became more engaged and more confident.
"Brian had a knack for fixing things—he loved broken appliances because they were a great excuse to take them apart and tinker. Once, Mark gave him permission to fix a computer. After several hours it was working again." -Mark Haines, former BGCB Club director
The Club allowed Brian to pursue his interest in computers while teaching and modeling for him what it meant to be productive, caring, and responsible–which was important because he didn’t have any adults in his life providing that.
Today, Brian won’t stop moving. He laughs easily, warmly encourages the children he’s teaching and openly shares stories about his future goals. He supports everyone in the organization with their technology needs - a paramount job given the current work from home and remote learning needs at our Clubs. While many forces have influenced Brian’s path, technology access and training at Boys & Girls Clubs have played a pivotal role.
Alumni that return to work in Boys & Girls Clubs often speak of the connection to the Club long after they are so-called "boys & girls." The situation is similar for Brian: “When the kids come here and they can’t wait to see you and talk to you and tell you what they did, I feel like I’m really changing their lives. It’s amazing to be a part of it. I really enjoy this job. I love coming here.”
IT Director, Boys & Girls Cubs of Bellevue
About Boys & Girls Clubs Bellevue
For nearly 70 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue (www.bgcbellevue.org) has inspired & enabled all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. BGCB’s 15 Clubhouses provide a safe and fun place for more than 12,000 youth to grow and thrive each year. During critical out-of -school hours, dedicated staff delivers life-enhancing, quality programs focused on academics, health, and leadership. BGCB is doing whatever it takes to ensure all kids in Bellevue have great futures. Learn more on our Facebook page.