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The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle - A “Club Kid” Comes Full Circle

Nadia Colom, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle - A “Club Kid” Comes Full Circle

When she was in elementary school, Nadia Colom spent her summers at a Boys and Girls Club. She says these experiences and the support she received at the Boys and Girls Club went a long way toward helping her become a successful adult.


So when the opportunity arose five years ago for her to return to the Boys and Girls Club as a unit director, she jumped at the chance. A year later, she was named CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle.


Vision and Mission


“Our vision here is to be as effective as we possibly can by engaging families, the community and our staff while focusing on appropriate and responsive programs and services that meet the needs of all youth involved in the club,” says Colom. “Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.


“We are dedicated to our core beliefs in providing a safe place to learn and grow while building ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals,” Colom adds. “Through a wide range of services, we deliver life-enhancing programs and character development experiences while also creating hope and opportunity for kids and their families.”


Up to 400 kids a year visit Boys and Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle locations in Columbus, Miss., and Starkville, Miss. They receive academic support, including tutoring from volunteers and mentors from Mississippi State University and the Mississippi School for Math & Science, as well as the opportunity to participate in core programs that teach character and leadership development and health and life skills.


Other programs expose kids to the arts and allow them to participate in sports, fitness and recreation activities. In addition, snack and dinner programs provide kids at both the Columbus and Starkville locations with something to eat.


Expanding to West Point


One of Colom’s immediate goals is to open a new Boys and Girls Club clubhouse in West Point, where she grew up. “This will enable us to serve the entire Golden Triangle region,” she says, adding that a campaign is currently underway to open a new location in her hometown.


She would also like to expand the existing locations in Starkville so there’s more room for kids who want to participate. “We have 80 kids on a waitlist in Starkville currently because we just don’t have enough room,” says Colom. “It breaks my heart to see kids’ faces when we tell them they can’t come because we’re full.”


As a non-profit organization, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle receives funding from a variety of different sources, including the United Way Foundation. Colom says they hold two major fundraising events each year: a golf tournament and a charity banquet. “As the CEO, fundraising is probably the biggest part of my job,” she says.


So is thinking and planning strategically for how the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle can better serve the community. “Not only do we need to expand and improve our facilities, but I’d also like to focus on recruiting more employees who want to work in youth development for the long term,” says Colom.


Going Beyond Writing Checks


The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle started working with Cadence Bank 16 years ago when Cadence supplied the mortgage for the clubhouse in Columbus. “Cadence has been a great ally for us ever since,” says Colom.


“Some organizations write checks, which is great, but Cadence Bank shows up, volunteers and gets involved,” she adds. “They take an active interest in what we’re doing, which is something that I really appreciate.”


The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle are located at 1815 14th Avenue North in Columbus, Miss. and 911 Lynn Lane in Starkville, Miss.


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