The Boys & Girls Club of Muncie, known for mentoring students across Delaware and surrounding counties, has made a lot of changes in the last nine months — including a new CEO.
The new CEO, Jason Newman, started Monday.
Newman was most recently the program director for the Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia, Bridesburg Unit. As director, Newman assisted in campaign fundraising and was responsible for training the staff for all 13 Boys & Girls Clubs in Philadelphia.
Coming from Philadelphia has not been a struggle for Newman thanks to the Muncie staff.
“The transition to Muncie has been nice so far. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming, which I didn’t expect," Newman said. “When I met with the staff and the board of directors I saw that they wanted to work with the young people of this city. For me, coming here is more about the work than it is being a Midwesterner.”
Board chairman James Mitchell is excited to have Newman on the Muncie team.
"We love that Jason has a diverse experience with his work and staff," Mitchell said. "During his tour of our units he would stop and talk with the kids and staff members of the club in order to get a head start on learning about the community."
The Boys & Girls Club of Muncie is the only location in the six counties surrounding Delaware County.
When the club partnered with Muncie Community Schools and the Buley Center, its average daily attendance doubled this year. With attendance at record numbers, the board members of the club decided to branch out to several locations, known as units, around Muncie.
The units help the club dedicate specific programming to certain age groups. The additional units include the Buley Center, East Washington Academy and Southside Middle School.
The club also partners with Project Leadership and area nonprofits to offer the Inner City Education basketball league, known as , which emphasizes academics over athletics. The league was started in 2015 and will kick off its third season in February.
Mitchell said the community should expect to see more collaboration with other nonprofits across the city if it means serving more children in more locations.
One of the short-term goals Mitchell has for Newman is to come up with a strategic plan to recruit more board and committee members. There is a board recruitment open house from 5-6:30 p.m. on at the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie.