Boys & Girls Club of Bartlesville
In the outcome-based world of nonprofits, Keith Goree has one outcome he focuses on, and that is having a positive impact on the life of child.
Over the past 20-plus years, Goree has impacted hundreds of lives through service as an education director, athletics director and unit director for Boys & Girls Club of Bartlesville. His strategy is to have meaningful conversations with each child who walks through the club doors – something that takes time, dedication and love.
“Keith is a west Bartlesville resident with deep roots in the community,” said Boys & Girls Club CEO Jason Barta.“ He is well connected with our kids’ parents, grandparents and extended families. Often times, they rely on Keith for assistance in teaching kids valuable life lessons. Many families send their children to the Club because they know Keith will be here to help them navigate their youth and teenage years.”
Goree’s history with Boys & Girls Club goes back to his own youth when he was mentored by prior club employee, Jo Allyn Lowe. “I’m just doing for others what someone did for me because if it weren’t for Boys & Girls Clubs and Mr. Lowe, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Each year, club members prepare a speech about what the Boys & Girls Club means to them, and nearly every speech includes a shout out to Mr. Keith and the role he played in their life.
Kismet Okyere, Oklahoma’s 2017-18 Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, said Goree is the one he goes to if he needs a pep talk, a moment to cool down or a reason to laugh. “I thrive off his passion to help people,” Okyere said. “He is the one I mirror my own actions off of as a junior staff member at the Club because I want to make members feel the way he makes me feel – loved, appreciated and important.”
As an employee for five different Boys & Girls Clubs in four different states, Barta says the success of the organization boils down to people who truly care about kids.
“Keith is one of those who truly cares about them,” he said. “For many kids in our country, positive relationships with a caring adult seem to be a struggle. I can tell you if there was a Mr. Keith in every one of our kids’ lives, that gap would not exist.”About the Program: Boys & Girls Club of Bartlesville helps youth of all backgrounds develop the qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders. It offers daily access to a broad range of programs in five core program areas: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation.