BRATTLEBORO >> The Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro has selected Ricky Davidson to be the organization's next Executive Director. Davidson's appointment culminates a five-month national search process.
Davidson is well-known in southeastern Vermont for his civic service and especially his commitment to the well-being of young people. A graduate of Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, N.H., Davidson began his career locally in 1995 at the Brattleboro Retreat where he managed an adolescent residential unit and where he later managed programs at the Retreat's Tower Alternative School. In 2004, Davidson began working for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England as a trained health educator, a position which he held for four years. During that time, he also began working at the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro as Teen Services Director. Since then, Davidson has taken on greater roles within the organization, advancing to director of operations at the Club's main site on Flat Street, and most recently as interim executive director.
"Within all of my experiences there is one over-arching theme and that is to help young people achieve all they can and see that the world has a place for them," said Davidson. His vision is for the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro to be "on the cutting edge of youth development, not just locally but nationally."
Over the past seven years as the Club's Keystone Club advisor, Davidson has served on steering committees for regional conferences within the Boys & Girls Clubs of America movement. Thanks to Davidson's initiative, the Brattleboro Club has been selected to participate in a newly funded, evidence-based substance abuse prevention program to help youth resist drugs. As he steps into his new role as executive director, Davidson is focused on innovation and "keeping things fresh" for the future, stating that "meeting the needs of our members well beyond 2016 should be a priority."
During his 12 years at the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro, Davidson has been directly engaged in programs where Club members have opportunities to work on their homework, pursue arts and crafts, learn bike repair skills, participate in leadership development programs, discover about science and technology through STEM programs such as Lego robotics, exercise on the Club's surpervised climbing wall or equipment room, play instruments in the Club's music room, socialize while playing board games, shoot hoops on the mini-basketball court, or develop balance and prowess in the Club's indoor skate-board park — and eat a nutritious meal every evening at the Club free of charge. During the first four weeks since school reconvened this fall, the Club has served over 660 dinners to young people — an initiative for which Davidson has been directly responsible. Not only has Davidson helped to assure that these varied activities are available to Club kids on a day-to-day basis, he has also supervised select groups of young people on college tours, basketball and skateboard outings, and numerous educational field trips, such as Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut.
In addition to his career with the Boys & Girls Club movement, Davidson currently chairs the Brattleboro Union High School Board of Directors. He also serves as chair of the Recreation & Parks Department advisory board for the town of Brattleboro. Other organizations where he served as a board member include the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont and the Alliance for Building Community. He has been a foster parent and live-in manager of a local residential youth facility.
"Ricky brings an impressive track record of passion, commitment and collaboration to lead the Club to new levels of community engagement," said Board President Marcia Steckler.
Davidson will be responsible for helping to strengthen the Club's resources and for deepening the impact of its programs which currently serve over 1,200 local youth members through sites on Flat Street in downtown Brattleboro and in the Community Center at Westgate Housing Association in West Brattleboro.
The Club's mission is "to inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens." In a climate of increasing pressures on families and social needs, the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro provides a safe, supervised after-school environment where young people can flourish. Updates of recent Club activities can be found on Facebook. Additional information is available at www.bgcbrattleboro.com/ or by calling the Club at 802-254-5990.