Alex Rodriguez… Brad Pitt… Michael Jordan… President Bill Clinton… Jackie Joyner-Kersee… Martin Sheen… Derek Jeter… Neil Diamond… Denzel Washington… Lynn Swann…Coach Dave Odom.
What do all of these people, and millions more throughout America, have in common? They are all alumni of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
While many Club alumni have achieved particular distinction in fields such as entertainment, business, politics and sports, the average alumnus is not famous. Most have achieved success by getting an education, raising a family, serving their country, pursuing a career and supporting their community.
A sampling of our local alumni:
TERRY ALEXANDER – South Carolina House of Representatives (former BGC Board member)
HARRY CARSON – Retired all-pro NFL, NY Giants
LEROY “PETE” PETERSON – Professor, Francis Marion University (former BGC Board member)
REGGIE SANDERS – Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team
LAWRENCE TIMMONS – Pittsburgh Steelers football team
SALISHA RIGSBEE – Assistant Attorney General in the Phoenix, Arizona (2006 Youth of the Year)
Our Alumni Speak…..
From the 60s
Rev. Terry Alexander
SC House of Representatives, District 59 & Wayside Baptist Church, Pastor
I was a Club member before and after the Club moved to Roughfork Street. As a youth, when I told people I attended the Club, they would look at me differently, expecting more from me than others, simply because they knew I was a Club member. I am thankful for the strong adult mentors the Club had, as they provided me the guidance needed for my future success.
From the 70s
Sgt. Priscilla Zimmerman
Public Relations Officer, Florence County Sheriff’s Office
I was a regular attendee at the Club before they allowed girls to be members. Not only was the Club the best thing in my neighborhood, it was the only place to go after school and during the summer. All my friends went there. It was at the Club that I got to play organized sports as compared to “street” activities. Looking back, before attending the Club, my dreams and opportunities were limited, but once there I learned self-respect and self-worth and the whole world opened up for me.
From the 80s
Career Specialist, Florence School District Four
I was a member of the Club from age 6 to 18, providing me a positive place to go everyday after school and during the summer. The Club was instrumental in building my character skills, especially instilling a sense of service in me, leading me to always want to help others. I received my first job at the Club and continued working there throughout college.
From the 90s
Director of Program Development & Evaluation, BGCPDA
I have been with Boys & Girls Club since age 13. The Club has provided me with a lot of my “first” experiences: traveling in and out of South Carolina, staying overnight in a hotel, riding on an airplane, and even my first job. I don’t know where I would have ended up had it not been for the Club. It gave me the tools I needed to excel into the individual I am today.
Below are just a few of the many prominent alumni of Boys & Girls Clubs throughout America:
WALTER ANDERSON – Editor, Parade Mag.
DARRELL ARMSTRONG – Guard, Orlando Magic
SHARON SAYLES BELTON – Former Minneapolis Mayor
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON – Olympic Gold Medalist
JOAQUIN CASTRO – U.S. Congressman from Texas
GEN. WESLEY CLARK – Former NATO Supreme Allied Cmdr.
EVAN S. DOBELLE – President, University of Hawaii Honolulu
RAYMOND FLYNN – Former Mayor of Boston; Ambassador to the Vatican
DENNIS GREEN – Head Coach, Minnesota Vikings
MAUREEN HOLOHAN – Basketball Player, Author
MICHAEL JORDAN – NBA All-Star
ROBERT KERSEE – Track and Field Coach
D. D. LEWIS – Retired Dallas Cowboys Star
SEN. GEORGE MITCHELL – Former US Sen. Maj. Leader
EDWARD JAMES OLMOS – Actor, Director
JIMMY PIERSALL – Cleveland Indians, retired
TERRY PORTER – Guard, San Antonio Spurs
GEORGE RIVERA – Artist; Lt. Gov., Pojoaque Pueblo, NM
FRED ROONEY – Former US Congressman
GALE SAYERS – Former Chicago Bears Running Back
JOHN SINGLETON – Filmmaker
NORMAN STAMPER – Former Seattle Police Chief
LYNN SWANN – Former Pittsburgh Steeler
FRANK THOMAS – First Baseman Chicago White Sox
MAJ. GEN. ALFRED A. VALENZUELA – Cmdr., U.S. Army S. Puerto Rico
DENZEL WASHINGTON – Actor
ERIC DAVIS – Outfielder, SF Giants
JAMIE FARR – Actor
JAMES (LOU) GORMAN – Former Gen. Mgr Boston Red Sox
CHAMIQUE HOLDSCLAW – WNBA Star, Olympian
EVANDER HOLYFIELD – 4-time Boxing Champion
DR. PATRICK KELLY – Chair, Dept. of Neurology NYU
JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE – Olympic Gold Medalist
MANUEL LUJAN – Former US Sec. of the Interior
JOHNNY MORRIS – Chicago Bears Star/Sportscaster
SHAQUILLE O’NEAL – Center, LA Lakers
LOU PINIELLA – Manager, Seattle Mariners
AHMAD RASHAD – Sportscaster; Wide-Rcvr Minn. Vikings
SMOKEY ROBINSON – Singer/Songwriter
JOHNNY RUTHERFORD – Race Car Driver
CAPT. WINSON SCOTT – astronaut; Dean, FL Inst. of Tech.
C. J. SILAS – Former Chair & CEO of Phillips Petroleum
DENNIS SMITH – Author
ROBERT STUTMAN – Former NY DEA Head
ABLE MABLE THOMAS – Atlanta Community Leader
TERDEMA USSERY II – Pres/CEO Dallas Mavericks
MANUEL VILLAFANA – Chair/CEO ATS Medical
JAMAAL WILKES – Former LA Lakers Star
NELSON WOLFF – Bexar County Judge, Former Mayor, San Antonio, Texas
DAVID L. WOLPER – Hollywood Producer
MARTIN WONG – Fashion Designer
JAMES WORTHY – NBA Hall-of-Famer; LA Laker