LaGina R. Harris
Extension Club Director
Boys & Girls Club of the
Salary: Under $40,000 a year.
My Organization: Bedichek Middle School (sixth through eighth grades) is the site of a nontraditional Boys & Girls Club, located in South Austin. “We serve anywhere from 60 to 100 students every day after school (Monday through Friday),” Harris said. “[We] have 220 kids registered in the program. During two lunches a day, we run open gym and serve another 100 to 150 daily (members and nonmembers of the club). Our members range from the ages of 10 to 14; most members are 11, 12 and 13.”
My Job: As extension club director, Harris spends her time maintaining and creating positive relationships with staff, the school and parents. She plans and implements programming while directing full- and part-time staffs. She is also responsible for maintaining the club budget and ensuring that the club meets its grant requirements.
How I Got Here: Harris received her bachelor’s degree in health and physical education with a concentration in adolescent psychology from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Best Part of My Job: For Harris, working with the children is the best part of her job. “The kids make me laugh so hard, I cry. I smile when I see the lights turn on in their heads, and [it] makes me a better person.” The positive influence the Boys & Girls Club has on the children and the atmosphere of the place make working at the club a joyful experience for Harris.
Worst Part of My Job: Paperwork. “Paperwork and I are not friends,” Harris said, “but I manage to get it done. Anything I can do to keep our grant-based program running for our club kids, I will do with a smile on my face.”
Memorable Moment: “I have a lot of memorable moments!” Harris said. “Every day is a memory. Working with kids is an emotional rollercoaster. At the end of every day, I always think two things: that I love kids and that I’m at the right place in my life, doing my calling from God.”
What Could Make My Job Better: “The only thing that could make my job any better is more money,” Harris said, “but I get paid in smiles, love, and laugher from the children.
“I know it sounds corny but it is true.”