Alicia Painter may have never been introduced to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County if not for Earlham College.
Now, just 10 years after earning her degree, Painter is preparing to become the organization’s first female CEO at the turn of the calendar year.
“Earlham really opened the doors to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wayne County and allowed me to find the passion I have here,” Painter said. “I was a Bonner Scholar and that allowed me to do my volunteer work at the club. I started working at the gym, helping with the volleyball and soccer programs and also in the kitchen area teaching kids how to live a healthier lifestyle.
“I love my job. It’s a positive place for our members and our staff,” she said. “I love the people who show up to work every day to provide so many different opportunities for our members.”
Painter earned a degree in psychology and minored in education at Earlham.She also met her husband, Alex Painter, on campus. Alex graduated in 2010 and is a community engagement officer for the Wayne County Foundation.
“I miss the incredibly tight-knit community you find at Earlham,” Alicia said. “The connections I made with peers and professors impacted my life greatly and I will always cherish the four years I spent surrounded by such genuine, altruistic people.
“Earlham also really prepared me for my career,” she said. “As a psychology major, I was taught the importance of emotional intelligence and connecting with others. I believe emotional intelligence is incredibly important for all of us to know and work on, especially when in a leadership role.”
“Earlham really opened the doors to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wayne County and allowed me to find the passion I have here.”
— Alicia Painter, Class of 2011
After graduation, Painter immediately transitioned into full time work at the club as camp director. She then went on to become program director, unit director, senior unit director and, most recently, director of operations.
As CEO, Painter will lead a team of more than 80 staff members and dozens of volunteers who provide programming for about 2,500 members at five locations across Wayne County.
“This was a long process, and we had over 100 candidates that we screened,” the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County’s Board of Directors said in a statement. “We believe Alicia will make a great CEO for our organization and lead us into the next decade of youth development and after-school programming for the youth in Wayne County.”
The BGCWC is quickly expanding services across Wayne County and has opened two new locations in the last year in Richmond and Cambridge City.
“The BGCWC matters to our region because we provide a safe place for thousands of kids to come after school at a cost of just $15 per year,” Painter said. “We also provide the working parent, or the parent who needs extra support, a place where their kid can learn and grow with our staff members.
“I am so proud to watch our members grow into the adults they become because of the experiences we offer here.”