Ventress Surprised With Hero Honor
Club leader honored for leadership and initiative for community's youth.
Jim Ventress, chief professional officer for the local Boys
and Girls Club was recently named one of 10 local heroes by the Bank of
America, earning a $5,000 grant for the club. The award was part of the bank’s
fifth annual Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Awards, which recognizes
honorees for their dedication to serving Los Angeles
On the nomination form, directors from the club’s governing
board wrote about how Ventress made a difference in his community.
“Jim’s passion to guide youth in the Boys andGirls Club’s
movement by increasing their educational achievement, improving their self
confidence and personal development, and shaping their futures is evident in
the community of Santa Clarita. Jim spearheaded feasibility studies, strategic
planning, and fundraising, which led to the construction of two multi-million
dollar Boys & Girls clubhouses…Jim’s favorite motto is ‘Give kids
attention, recognition and affection, and they will contribute to society, not
take away from it.’”
Gary Saenger and Jay Thomas from the Club’s governing board
of directors attended the ceremony Oct 28 in Los Angeles
with Ventress, who only found out about his nomination after it was submitted.
“My staff and the board snuck this one by me. I was stunned
and honored to learn that I was one of the recipients,” he said.
At the ceremony, 10 Student Leaders were also selected,
along with four Neighborhood Builders—Chrysalis Center, Inner-City Arts, New
Economics for Women, and Para Los Niños. The purpose of the awards program is
to recognize, award, and encourage those who are making a difference in the 45
communities that Bank of America serves throughout the United
The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley is a
member of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, an organization with more than 4,000
clubs nationwide. The local Club was
formed in 1968 by a group of community leaders who recognized the need for
high-quality programs and facilities at affordable costs for area young people.
The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley now serves more than 3,500
youth. Programs engage members in
education and career exploration, the arts, sports, recreation and fitness,
character and leadership development, and healthy life choices. For more information, please visit www.scvkids.org.