Someone you should know in Middlebury

Lindsay Saunders

Position: Director of Marketing and Development for the Boys & Girls Club of Middlebury.

How long: I have been with Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County for three years. My first 2½ years were spent as area director of the Middlebury club. In January, I accepted a promotion as director of marketing and development for the Middlebury club.

Hometown: Sturgis, MI

Education: B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. I’m currently pursuing my Master’s degree at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business.

Past work: From 2008-2012, I was employed as resource coordinator for the Community Schools Initiative with Chicago Public Schools, where I oversaw the development of community partnerships and programs for students and families in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. From 2012-2014, I served as youth programs associate for the Elks National Foundation Inc., also in Chicago, where I managed the Elks National Hoop Shoot program, a free-throw contest serving more than one million youth across the country.

How did you get involved with the Boys & Girls Club: I joined the Boys & Girls Club team after moving home from Chicago. When my husband and I made the decision to move back to our home state, I told him I would be ready to move only when I had found a career with an organization that would allow me to continue pursuing my passion in community and youth development. The Boys & Girls Clubs offered me the perfect opportunity to do just that! I feel both honored and blessed to work with the Middlebury community in achieving the club’s mission.

Describe a typical day at the club: To be honest, there is NO typical day at the club! In my particular role, I spend about half my time in the community meeting with partners and sharing the great work we do at the Boys & Girls Club. The rest of my time is filled working from the Boys & Girls Club, where we see around 300 children burst through the doors each day during the school year, and about 100 each day throughout the summer. Members spend their time in one of four program areas or in small group programs like Robotics, Art En Plein Air (that’s French for Art Outside), or SMART Girls which is a character development program for girls. There is never a dull moment at the Boys & Girls Club and it’s absolutely fantastic to witness!

What do you enjoy the most about working there: The energy and the impact! Children and teens have this wonderful ability to bring energy with them wherever they go. I love stepping out of my office to roam the busy halls of the club during program hours. Seeing children learn to program a robot, plant their first garden, or overcome that tough math problem with the help of a staff member – those are the moments that remind me how important the Boys & Girls Club is and why we work so hard to make sure our programs are available throughout Elkhart County.

How can others help at the club: Advocate, volunteer, or attend an event! There is truly something for everyone at the club. We can always use volunteers to help check in members or read with a struggling student. We also have special events throughout the year that help raise the funding needed to operate our facility and programs. If time is an obstacle to either of those options, visit our website and help spread the good word about what the Boys & Girls Club provides in the community.