In celebration of National Mentoring Month and the launch of In Real Life, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) has chosen to recognize those who have demonstrated a deep commitment to delivering critical connections to our nation’s young people to aid them in achieving success at home, school and ultimately in the workforce. This blog series will feature weekly posts throughout the month of January, and focus on an individual’s proven commitment to youth mentoring and the powerful impact it has had for youth in real life.
A former executive for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Jim Richards has been a mentor to a number of youth work professionals and young people for over 50 years. His work is largely rooted in the belief that every young person deserves an equal opportunity to succeed, especially those in communities of the highest need.
Embodying the organization’s mission, Richards has led efforts to connect young people to lasting relationships with caring, committed adults, life-enhancing programs and character development experiences.
A tireless advocate for youth, Richards has worked closely with state lobbyists on behalf of young people and has played a large role in ensuring that Boys & Girls Clubs is given the highest regard as the premier youth agency at the local and national level.
Throughout his career, Richards has served in executive roles at the San Francisco, Alameda, CA, and Las Vegas Boys & Girls Clubs, and has served as Senior Regional Service Director and Vice President of Resource Development for the Pacific Region for Boys & Girls clubs of America.
Richards’ commitment to America’s young people has led to increased participation in youth mentoring efforts across the country. By connecting tens of thousands of young people with caring, committed adults, Richards has been a role model for Boys & Girls Clubs’ staff and board members dedicated to ensuring all young people reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible adults.