There is no such thing as a “typical” Club kid. Our members can come from single-parent households or from multi-generational homes. They may attend the city’s most under performing schools or can represent the crowned jewels of Detroit education. Some are only children, while others have several siblings.
Demetrius Scott – like many products of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) – credits his Club experience with empowering him to become the financial professional and corporate citizen he is today.
The Renaissance High School graduate started attending his local Club in the 9th grade. It was there that he got his first real job, working as a junior staff member.“One of the great things about that job was that I was able to do homework, at work,” says Demetrius.
BGCSM reinforced his study habits, helped to shape his goals and to gently push him toward them.
Through our Career Pathways program, the teen learned responsibility, economics, and customer service skills – all of which fortified his focus on education.
Demetrius has no shortage of fun memories of his time at the Romulus Club. He recalls playing bumper pool and entering his share of basketball tournaments back in the day. He also reminiscences on lessons on resume writing, networking and filling out scholarship applications.
“Coming back and being able to share my story with some of the students in high school was great,” he says of his summers worked in Romulus. He continued to return to the Club to work during semester breaks at Michigan State University.
“I’m a big proponent of lifting as you climb. I was a product of Boys & Girls Clubs so I think that it’s my job to come back and help,” Demetrius says. “Not only from a sweat-equity standpoint – but now that I’m able – financially as well.”
BGCSM also influenced Demetrius’ route after high school graduation. As a teenager he advanced in a local oratorical contest that the Romulus Club entered. Eventually, he was chosen to deliver his speech before government officials. As a young man, the experience taught him the art of public speaking.
His after-school job also helped him to hone in on his interests at a young age. “That’s what sparked my interest in money management,” Demetrius says of his job at the Club canteen.
That spark, kindled as a BGCSM Club kid, was further ignited at Michigan State University. It was there that he earned both his bachelor’s and his master’s degrees in accounting. Education, innovative ideas and willingness to take initiative led him to Ally Financial.
He says that Ally has an attractive corporate culture. Work-life balance and community impact are paramount for the company. Previous work experiences had taught him that an employer’s philanthropic commitments mattered.
“A lot of companies say things but I can really see the investment in the community,” Demetrius says of the firm that pledges to “do it right.”
Attention to detail and dedication to community allowed him to move from working as a Financial Analyst to collaborating with his employer to create a position dedicated to employee giving. He filled the role until he was recently promoted to his current assignment as Manager of Corporate Citizenship.
The partnership between Ally and BGCSM is a natural one. Ally’s strategic focus is economic mobility – a priority that the two organizations share. The firm focuses on three pillars; affordable housing, workforce preparedness and financial education. Who better to foster it than a former Club kid?
“It takes dollars to make these Clubs function and grow,” he says of the programs and staff financially supported by corporate investment. Demetrius says that he remembers being tutored by full-time staffers who invested themselves in his success.
Jill Covell, area director for the Romulus Club, was one of many mentors Demetrius encountered during his time there. The two recently saw each other at the #Reimagine event – nearly 15 years after his freshman year of high school.
The impact of BGCSM Career Pathways programming can last a lifetime. In the case of Demetrius Scott, the child who was once mentored by a handful of adults now gives back to dozens of children, himself.
His moonshot for BGCSM is for it to become a pillar in the community. Demetrius says that offering adult memberships helps realize that goal.
“You appreciate something more as an adult when you get to see what your kids or the children in your neighborhood get to experience,” he says. “Especially if you get to benefit from it yourself.”
Demetrius says that he plans to continue to dedicate resources for BGCSM to continue to grow. He dreams of hubs for children, education for all, entrepreneurs, community meetings, and safe spaces. He believes his success can be replicated because BGCSM helped him to become the man he is today.
“What really helped me were life skills and the Boys & Girls Club laid the foundation for those skills,” he says.
Our Career Pathways Programming makes a HUGE impact in the lives of our Youth. DONATE TODAY to make an investment in the future of our Youth.