Welcome Aboard: Parham joins Boys & Girls Club as program director

Published 4:01 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Club members and visitors to the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton will be seeing a new face around the Club.

Shelly Parham recently joined the team at the Boys & Girls Club as the new Program Director. As part of her duties, Parham will help oversee the development and implementation of programs for the children at the Club to help promote the Club’s mission of character and citizenship, education, physical activity and healthy lifestyles, and nutrition.

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A Michigan native, Parham had lived in Florida for more than 30 years before she and her husband made the move to Northeast Tennessee.

“My husband got transferred, and it was an opportunity we couldn’t refuse,” Parham said of the move. “He grew up in Kingsport, so this was sort of a homecoming for him.”

“From the ocean to the mountains, I’m happy to be here,” she added.

Before taking the role as Program Director at the Club, Parham garnered extensive experience working with youth in a non-profit setting in Florida. Parham holds a masters degree in Social Work with certifications in working with trauma and adolescent independent living. In Florida, she worked with an organization that provided community-based services for youth and adolescents diagnosed with mental health issues along with their families. The part of the program she worked with focused on helping adolescents develop skills for independent living, such as obtaining an education and job skills.

“Those are all things I want to incorporate here at the Club,” Parham said. “Hopefully as they are entering adulthood the Club is giving them skills they can use to be successful.”

For the younger Club members, Parham hopes to build on a program that is already in place — the literacy program created through a donation by The Witten Foundation.

“Academically, I want to prepare our Club members to advance to the next grade level,” Parham said.

Parham will also be working with and overseeing the Club’s staff in implementing the best programs for the members, and also to ensure the staff has the resources they need for those programs.

Tying into that aspect of her job will be working to raise awareness in the community about what the Club offers and to encourage more people in the community to get involved with the organization.

“I want the community to understand the goodness this Club provides, not just to the children who come here, but to the whole community,” Parham said. “This is a safe, positive place the kids can come to after school who otherwise might not have a place to go to.”

“I do want to encourage the community to invest in the Club, because it is an investment for the community,” she added. “Whether it’s time, talent, or treasure, everyone has something they can invest.”