United Auto Workers Vice President James “Jimmy” Settles was honored last week by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan as its 2016 Great Futures honoree at the Great Futures Gala in Detroit.
Len Krichko, president and CEO of B&GCSM, said, “Jimmy has been a great and longtime friend to communities throughout Detroit and around the state and nation. He is one of our alums who grew up in Detroit and has talked a lot about what the club has done for him,” Krichko said. “He continues to do great things to help the children of B&GCSM through the UAW and on a personal level. We couldn’t think of a better person to honor than Jimmy because he really knows what the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Michigan is all about.”
Settles, an alumnus of the B&GCSM of Highland Park, has been involved in activism for decades. In 1968, he began his career as a trade union activist with the UAW Local 600 with the Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn Foundry and Michigan Casting Center. In addition to activism, Settles has a long history of mentoring and outreach to children globally. He credits his success to his parents and mentors at the B&GCSM of Highland Park as the catalysts for his passion for outreach and philanthropy.
“I joined the Boys Club when I was six years old. Other than my parents, the Boys & Girls Club has had the most impact on my life. It became a safe place to go because I lived in a tough neighborhood and there was a lot of idle time in the streets when my parents were working. However, I really believe the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Michigan is needed now more than ever,” Settles said.
“It means a lot to be honored by an organization that has had such a great impact on my life as a kid, Hopefully, I’m able to help raise more money so these clubs will continue to grow and continue to give young people the same resources and opportunities I had as a club member. This organization has blessed me and I just want to bless it back by finding ways to empower its young boys and girls.”
B&GCSM said Settles is “one of the community’s greatest champions for children” because of his tireless work for children that includes purchasing uniforms for an entire school and starting and funding a chess program at an inner city school.
At the gala, Hiram Jackson, CEO of Real Times Media, alumnus of B&GCSM of Highland Park and friend of Settles was announced as the new chair of the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, replacing former chair Tom Hoeg.
“This year, the Boys & Girls Club celebrates 90 years serving the communities of southeastern Michigan. This organization is committed to having a positive impact on our area youth as it did me when I joined the Highland Park facility at just six years old,” Jackson said.
“I was pleased to learn that my dear friend Jimmy Settles, 2010 Michigan Chronicle Men of Excellence awardee and fellow Boys & Girls Club alumnus, was selected as this year’s honoree for their annual gala. Jimmy is active in a wide range of activities centered around the enrichment of and creating opportunity
for the young people in the community.”
By Alisha Dixon