Aretha Valentin is the Club Director of the LeBron James Clubhouse in Akron. As Club Director, she is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Club and staff members. This year will be Mrs. Aretha’s 19th year working at the Boys & Girls Club, but her experience with the Club goes back further than this. Growing up, she was a Club member herself, and holds her Club experience dearly. Prior to working with the Club, she gained experience in the field by working in group homes, nursing homes, and mental health facilities. During the summer of 2000, she became a staff member at the Club, and has been a vital part of the Clubs success ever since.
Her favorite component about working at the Clubs is that she gets to interact with the kids on a daily basis. Her interactions with the Club members keeps her feeling young and engaged. She loves how they regularly come in with great energy and enthusiasm, and also how they share the new trends with her.
She states, “The Boys & Girls Club to me is a safe haven for our parents and kids. The parents are able to drop off their kids and know that they are in a safe place with staff that they will bond with”. Mrs. Aretha often keeps in contact with past Club members and reminisces with them about their times at the Club and the relationships that were formed there. She recognizes the importance of the interactions between the kids and the Boys & Girls Club staff, and the large impacts that they can have. She understands that the experiences that kids have at the Clubs can have a lasting impact on their futures.
Watch the video and check out how the Clubs have impacted Mrs. Aretha.