By Natasha Ashenhurst
It happens every August on a Sunday, around noon. Parents start lining up at the Lacey Boys & Girls Club. They set out chairs and some even set up tents. They camp out all night long so that the following morning at 8 a.m. they will be able to register their children to take a bus from school to the club.
We hear about camping out for concert tickets and for Black Friday store events, but for transportation to an after school club?
“This speaks volumes of Shellica Trevino, the Club’s director,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County Marketing Coordinator, Christine Hoffmann. “She has incredible energy and passion for what she does. She genuinely cares about the kids and their families. She puts in extra effort to make sure that her club is the place for them, and she energizes her staff, volunteers and the kids to make it a great place.”
Trevino’s influence is broad, but it also impacts the lives of many individual children. Take, for example, Ny’Shara Cox. Cox started attending the Club when she was a young girl, and when her mother passed away the club became even more important. “The Club is a second family to me because I was able to build strong relationships with staff and kids,” she said. Imagine going somewhere with 300 other children and still feeling like it is home. “Shellica really touched her life because she takes the time to connect with the kids,” said Hoffmann.
Trevino is someone people refer to as a “born leader.” In her case, they are referring to the ability to inspire her staff, club volunteers and the kids. “The things she didn’t have training in were all things she could and did learn. Whereas there are a lot of things she intuitively knows that other people could never learn,” said Joe Ingoglia, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County.
“Shellica also has a very strong tie to our mission. She really believes in what we do for kids. You can see that in everything she does. She is also a great team builder, and has crafted a strong team,” continues Ingoglia.
There are four Boys & Girls Clubs in Thurston County, and Trevino, in her role as director of the Lacey branch, has influenced the other three as well. “The quality work that Shellica has done there has lifted the bar for all four Clubs. She has created a very high quality and high functioning organization. She also has involved the entire Lacey community, and they are supportive of what the Clubs do. The very local thing she does in Lacey has really set the standards for the rest of the Clubs,” Ingoglia said.
What inspires Trevino? “Her level of caring is off the charts. She often says that she doesn’t want to see one single kid fail or fall through the cracks. That is very inspiring to me. That kind of inspiration makes me not want to let down my staff. That is pretty powerful”, said Ingoglia.
Her employees share this perspective. Mike Babauta is currently the Olympia Branch Director, but before his move to this position he worked as a program director for Trevino at the Lacey Club. “From day one, she empowered me and instilled in her staff a sense of responsibility and trust,” he said.
Again, it comes down to her leadership style. “She really trusts her staff to do what we think is right. A lot of times, she would say, ‘you can handle this.’ She made me trust myself. She instilled those values in me to make those decisions,” added Babauta.
“She trusts the kids to make good decisions as well. Most kids have adults in their life telling them what to do. She gives kids opportunities to make mistakes and learn from them, but also opportunities to make choices and good choices. It gives the kids ownership of their actions,” continued Babauta.
Trevino’s passion and commitment to the 900-plus members of the Lacey Club has also influenced Lacey as a community. For example, Babauta said, “She has an awesome partnership with a Lacey Rotary club and North Thurston Public Schools. Community leaders know who she is and who our kids are, and they respect what she has done. She does this because she honestly cares and has an emotional connection to these kids. Seeing the kids succeed, that makes the difference,” he said.
Today, Shellica Trevino was honored for her leadership. Trevino received the Maytag Dependable Leader award for her dedication to keeping youth on the path to achieve great futures. More importantly, Trevino’s award brings a $20,000 financial gift to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County to deepen the impact to the community. She intends to use the grant to enhance the Lacey Club’s College Club program, designed to develop middle and high school kids’ ability to prepare for college.
For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County, visit www.bgctc.org.