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Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County honors two employees at annual Steak and Burger Dinner

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     On September 20th, the Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County held their second annual Steak and Burger Dinner at the First Baptist Church of Statesboro. As part of the festivities, the club’s Board of Directors recognized two employees for their outstanding service and dedication to the club.
    Chrissee Thompson, grant coordinator for the club, was named the full-time employee of the year, while Renaldo Leon, game room operator, was named the part-time employee of the year.
    Mike Backus, the resource development coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club, said it was not difficult to pick out this year’s winners.
    “Both of these — Renaldo and Chrissee — were easy decisions in my opinion,” said Backus.

Chrissee Thompson

    Chrissee Thompson has worked full-time at the club for two years. She started at the club as a volunteer to satisfy credit requirements for one of her classes at Georgia Southern university.
    “At the time I didn’t know that much about it. I thought it was just a place for the kids to play basketball,” said Thompson. “But that’s not what it is — not at all.”
     As part of her responsibilities, Thompson monitors three grants. One is a regional abstinence grant that teaches abstinence until marriage. The next is a state grant that supplies money for programs like Smart Move and Power Hour.
    Smart Move is a program that teaches kids about healthy life choices and making the right decisions in certain situations. Power Hour is a tutoring program that encourages kids to get in at least an hour of study per day.
    The third grant she oversees is the 21st Century grant, from the Georgia Board of Education, that helps bus students to the center after school.
    Thompson has her bachelor degree from GSU in Child and Family Development and is pursuing her master’s in education. Though she enjoys what she’s doing, she would one day like to open up her own child care center.
    “I don’t always like being in front of the computer all day. I like being out with the kids and look forward to doing more of that in the future,” said Thompson. “I’d eventually like to do my own thing, but [child care] is not a real profitable business. You do it because you love the children.”
    Backus explained the decision to select Thompson for the award.   
    “When we looked at people that would be getting this award, Chrissee stood out because of the many hats that she wears. She’s done everything from being a unit director, to writing grants, to putting on such a wonderful kids day program,” said Backus. “She was an easy choice because she stands out.”
    Renaldo Leon is a senior at Georgia Southern majoring in Communication Arts with a minor in African Studies. He has been working at the center for the past three years, but has been around the Bulloch club since he was in the 9th grade — when his Mom first brought him there.
    “It became a second home for me. Everyone was interested in what I wanted to do after high school,” said Leon. “That was something I was not used to outside of my family.”
    “My mom got it straight into me early about grades — that’s the cool thing about my mom,” said Leon. “The club was interested in my grades, too, but they were also interested in my well-being and went beyond regular means to get me recognized outside of the club.”
    He currently supervises the game room, making sure the kids have something to keep them occupied. He also advises the TORCH club — a 12-member group inside the club that focuses on community health and service.
    Backus said Leon is the product or the prototype the club would like as an example to show our kids.
    “As for Renaldo, what can I say, he one of the kids that came when we first opened up the door,” said Backus. “So he is what we try to instill in our kids — if you come to the club, do what we tell you to do, get in a positive place, you can go to the club, you can graduate, you can become the youth of the year, and you can come back and work and give back to the club. He exemplifies exactly what we are trying to do with our kids today.”

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