Olympic champion swimmer Anthony Ervin, who is an alumnus of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, was inducted into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Alumni Hall of Fame during the 2012 National Conference in May in San Diego, Calif.
“Anthony is a perfect example of the Boys & Girls Club motto, ‘Great Futures Start Here.’ We are so proud and excited to have him be our first alumnus entered into the Hall of Fame,” said Jim Ventress, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.
Nine alumni of Boys & Girls Clubs, including Ervin, were recognized for their achievements in chosen career fields. The other eight individuals were Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theater soloist; Powers Boothe and Cuba Gooding, Jr., award-winning actors; David Lindsay-Abaire, playwright and lyricist; Darren W. McDew, Air Force District of Washington Commander Major General; CC Sabathia, New York Yankee’s star pitcher; Shaffer Smith (Ne-Yo), Grammy-winning singer/songwriter; and Ernest Stevens Jr., chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association.
During his acceptance speech, Ervin reflected upon his days at the Club with his younger brother. He told stories about learning to play pool, going deep-sea fishing, and practicing his swimming. To watch a video of his induction, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs9ioDIcbaI.
“The Boys & Girls Club became a sanctuary for me… I made a commitment to stay focused on education and swimming. Because of that commitment, I graduated near the top of my class and got a scholarship to the best public university in the country,” Ervin said.
Ervin completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to win gold and silver medals in swimming at the 2000 Olympics. He is back at the university pursuing his master’s degree and volunteers coaching a nonprofit youth swim team. And, he is working on qualifying for the next Olympics.
“I want to remind you that these accomplishments… these accolades, they are not mine or certainly not mine alone. They are the result of the good people around me and the environments that allowed me to reach my full potential… For this honor and continued opportunities to give back to the Boys & Girls Club, thank you,” Ervin concluded.
The local Boys & Girls Club was formed in 1968 by a group of community leaders who recognized the need for high-quality programs and facilities at affordable costs for area young people. The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley now serves more than 2,400 youth, ages seven to 17, at facilities in Newhall and Canyon Country. Programs engage members in education and career exploration, the arts, sports, recreation and fitness, character and leadership development, and healthy life choices.
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