'Club kid' takes over as director of Carnegie Boys & Girls Club
By Megan Guza
Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Juan Perez knows the ins and outs of Boys and Girls Clubs pretty well – he's been involved with them in some form since he was 14.
Now 38, Perez, the new director of the Carnegie Boys and Girls Club, said he wants to give area children the same chances that he was given.
“I was a club kid in New York and Massachusetts,” he said. “I've been with the club ever since.”
Perez said his mother enrolled him in the club when they moved to Massachusetts when he was 14. She wanted him to “stay out of trouble,” he said.
One of his main goals in Carnegie, he said, is to introduce more teen programs.
“Teens are the ones that often slip through the cracks,” he said. “We have a great sports program, and I want to keep that. But I want to implement more, too.”
He said teens are especially at risk for problems because they're at a crossroads in their lives.
“There are so many things pulling them in different directions,” Perez said. “This is something positive to pull them in.”
Perez said he wants to keep the “same high-quality programs” that his predecessor, longtime club director Lou Trombetta, put into place. Trombetta retired in May.
“I want it to be a seamless transition,” he said. “I want parents to come in and see the same quality programs.”
The club has 600 to 800 members at any given time, and between 120 and 150 attend per day.
Perez said he already is in talks with Carnegie police about organizing a kickball game between the police and kids at the club.
“It gives them something to do, plus it gives them a positive perception of the police,” he said.
From one-room clubs furnished with only a foosball table to clubs that had their own skate parks, Perez said he hopes his experiences at a wide array of clubs will help him reach out to a diverse group of children. Most recently, he directed a club in Duquesne.
“I know the kind of trouble I was headed for,” he said. “Those are the pitfalls kids face. When there's nothing to do in a positive manner, they'll find something to do and it isn't always good.”
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Four school directors sworn in on Chartiers Valley board
- Work progressing on apartment complex in Green Tree
- Carnegie officials get going about proposed GetGo
- Carnegie mayor selects child to light borough tree