Boys & Girls Club gets new director
Jennifer Lee Preyss
July 15, 2012 at 2:15 a.m.
BOYS & GIRLS' CLUB
(Non-summer) hours: 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
Cost: Summer program, $60 per week; August-June (school year) $25 annual membership fee includes transportation from school to club and homework assistance
Needs: Volunteers (18 and up), homework tutors, computer donations
More info: See Marc Hinojosa at 202 Hopkins St., or call 361-573-4411.
Marc Hinojosa still remembers the first summer his parents signed him up for the Boys & Girls Club in Victoria.
He was 10 years old then, and the club was located on Pine Street.
"It was pretty much mutual for my parents. They wanted me to be active during the summer, and the YMCA was sort of off the beaten path," the 51-year-old Hinojosa said. "I thought of the Boys & Girls Club as a neat place to meet up with my friends ... but looking back on that time, it obviously played a role in the man I've become."
More than 40 years later, Hinojosa, a Victoria native, has returned to the club full time - as it's newest director. It is now located on Hopkins Street.
On July 2, he took over the new role.
"I'm back home in more ways than one," he said.
Hinojosa wasn't entirely unfamiliar with the club before applying for the position.
He worked previously at the nonprofit about seven years ago, designing youth programming and overseeing athletics.
But now that he's in a leadership role, Hinojosa said he's ready to spread his vision around to the community and advance the club to a level it's never experienced before.
"I want to take away that stigma that this is a place for single-parent kids, or low-income kids and let people know it really is a place for everyone," he said. "And my short-term goal is to put a face to the Boys & Girls Club. I want the club to be synonymous with my name."
Hinojosa also said he plans to remake the club's interior facilities, improve technology and computer accessibility for the children, and maintain a steady stream of grant funding.
"It's a matter of staying in the black and out of the red," he said. "Memberships are not our lifeline, we run on grants and fundraisers."
Since taking over the position previously held by Marc Vendel, Hinojosa said he's moved seamlessly into the role.
His co-worker Lynette Cunningham, who's worked at the club for the past eight years under three directors, agrees Hinojosa is a good fit for director.
"I think Marc is going to be a very good asset to the Boys & Girls Club because he's very knowledgeable of our mission," Cunningham said. "I think he'll be able to bring some new vision."
Cunnigham said each of the directors she's worked with have put forth excellence to the role, and she said Hinojosa will continue that tradition.
"He will be a great director," she said.
As Hinojosa begins a new chapter in his life, both professionally and personally - Hinojosa plans to wed his fiancee, Lisa Lamas, later this year - he said he's excited to see what the future holds.
"Things are looking up in a professional and personal standpoint," he said. "It's not going to be a job or career, but an extension of my lifestyle ... I have big plans down the road."