Staff Member Spotlight

It all started with a Club program called the Nike Swoosh Club for Jenny Emerson, our Westside Units Director! When she was in high school, the Boys & Girls Club was located on Ellis Blvd, just a few blocks from her home. In 1999, at age 15, she contacted the Club to inquire about how she could get involved. She started as a Junior Staff member and also participated as a Club member in a basketball program called Nike Swoosh Club and has been a part of the Boys & Girls Club family ever since! 

Jenny plays a vital role in our organization and wholeheartedly believes in the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs! She has been married for 12 years to Dale and they have 3 kids: Aaliyah, 13; Brooklyn, 9; & Brayden 7. With three very active children, Jenny spends her evenings and weekends attending the kids' sports and school events. When she is lucky enough to have some free time, she enjoys watching movies, sitting around a campfire, and spending time with family and friends. 
Over the years, Jenny has seen just how much the Club is needed in Cedar Rapids and what impact it has made on the youth of our community, “The Club has been a second home to hundreds of kids throughout the years. It has been their safe haven, an escape to allow them to be kids. It has taught them valuable life skills as well as creating mentors for kids who desperately need another caring adult in their lives.” 

When asked to share a story about a Club member who has impacted her the most, Jenny shared how her [now 13 year old] daughter came into her life. After the flood of 2008, the Club moved into Roosevelt and made the decision to serve any kids that needed our services. Aaliyah was just 4 years old, but needed a place to go as she had been removed from her home and was living with a family friend. That fall, Aaliyah was going to move to the foster care system and would likely leave the Club. Jenny and her husband began the process to become licensed foster parents and take in this little girl who had captured their hearts. In March, 2009, Aaliyah was placed in their home and in August, 2010, they formally adopted her. Aaliyah has been a blessing to their family and has taught them so much about courage, strength and determination!

We appreciate Jenny's dedication to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cedar Rapids and all that she does every day to make a difference in the lives of so many young people!
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