West Mabee Boys and Girls Club Director Understands the Impact the Club Can Have on Youths

Jan 11, 2017 12:00 PM ET

Ask Jamar Giddings to pin down his favorite memory from a childhood spent with the Boys & Girls Club and he’ll tell you it was scatterball.

The game, a form of dodgeball, helped nurture an athletic ability and competitiveness that would eventually lead him out of an impoverished area of Lawton and ultimately back into the fold of the organization that shaped his life.

Giddings and his older brother grew up in the foster care system. They never knew their father and their mother left when Jamar was 5.

In 2002, Giddings was named athletic director at the West Mabee Boys & Girls Club in west Tulsa, where he has been for nearly 15 years.

As unit director, Giddings handles an array of duties from acting as a mentor and helping students with homework to driving the bus to pick them up from school. He also leads a cooking class where he teaches the kids how to cook basics like pasta and salsa to more advanced dishes like gumbo, jambalaya and fried chicken.

Giddings’ work at the club recently earned him recognition as one of 12 Maytag Dependable Leader Award recipients. The award came with $20,000 that will be used to expand the club’s programming and provide scholarship opportunities for its members.

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