Nearly four decades ago, Carlos Martinez walked through the doors of what once was known as the Wichita Falls Boys Club. Since then, the club’s 1976 Youth of the Year and now Director of Operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Wichita Falls has served in various capacities for the organzation, including a leadership position for the national office.
But Martinez’s relationship with the club started by way of curiosity.
“A friend of mine introduced me to the club,” Martinez said.
He said, ‘Hey. You need to go to the Boys Club.’
I asked, ‘Boys Club?’ We had just moved. And I came in and loved it.”
One memory Martinez says he will remember forever has to do with the club’s pool.
“I remember the summer before I joined club, I was at a hotel pool and got thrown in and almost drowned,” explained Martinez.
“That following year, I joined the club and one of the very first things I did was come to the pool and taught myself to swim.”
Martinez would develop a lifelong passion for swimming, even becoming a lifeguard and himself saving someone from drowning.
“Had it not been for the club, I wouldn’t have been able to do that,” Martinez stated.
Randy Cooper, Executive Director of the Wichita Falls Boys & Girls Club says they’re now looking to hire several part-time workers who love kids, which he admits is not for everybody.
However, Cooper, a former Boy’s Club member himself, says with his passion for the club and inspiring youth, it’s hard for him to imagine working anywhere else for so long.
“I thought this is rewarding. This is fulfilling to be part of a community mission that serves young people,” said Cooper. And being a former youth myself, I said, ‘Let’s stay the course and see where this goes.’ And 45 years down the road, I guess you could say, I’ve stayed the course a little bit,” said a laughing Cooper.
If you or someone you know is interested in working for the Boys & Girls Club, you’re asked to fill out the application and submit it in person at the central campus at 6th and Broad Street.
For more information, click here.