For more than 65 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego have been committed to serving youth and reaching out to young people in need, according to Danny Sherlock, president and CEO. “Our sole purpose is to better serve the 13,000 youth who are currently Club members in the Greater San Diego region,” he notes on the organization’s website.

With a staff of more than 160 employees and 13 facilities (plus four school-site programs), Boys & Girls Clubs is integral to the care and well-being of a next generation in the communities it serves – including 4S Ranch, Santa Luz, Del Sur, Westwood and other nearby neighborhoods. It is the second largest club in the state of California, and in the top 10 clubs in terms of size in the U.S.

Jack T. Nguyen, site supervisor for two years at the 4S Ranch Branch facility – located at 16118 4S Ranch Parkway – reveals some details on the local Boys & Girls Club’s history and wide range of programs.

Program Highlights

4S Ranch Cooking Club

Learn to become a gourmet chef and prepare delicious, creative and healthy foods that can be re-created at home.

Smart Moves

A staff-led program that is geared to teaching kids to say no to drugs, avoid peer pressure, and make smart decision on the streets, at school or anywhere dangers may persist. This program has multiple sessions and runs 6 weeks at a time. All graduates get a framed certificate of achievement and a huge pizza party.

Free Afterschool Sports Leagues

Free of cost, but open only to current registered members who are also registered in our afterschool program. Come join in on our ¬intramural leagues afterschool in a variety of sports – flag football, 3-on-3 basketball and indoor soccer. The leagues include a schedule of games, standings, stats, players of the week recognition and of course playoffs. A pizza party goes to the championship teams.

Art Smartz

A hands-on art history class. Go back in time and learn about masterpiece paintings and about the artists who created them. This is a staff-led program where members not only get to learn historical facts about certain art pieces and artists but also are taught and guided to re-create the masterpiece using paints, oil pastels, and various types of media.

Q&A with the Boys & Girls Club

A Special Thanks to Jack Nguyen, Site Supervisor for the 4S Ranch Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego for taking the time to answer our questions!

Question: How was the decision made to build the Boys & Girls Club facility in 4S Ranch?

Nguyen: When the plans for 4S Ranch were being finalized, one question was, “What type of recreation activities will be available for youth in the new community? Newland Communities (developer of 4S Ranch) funded the multi-million dollar facility, which opened in 2004 (the gymnasium and swimming pool opened a year later).

Question: How many youth are involved with the 4S Ranch Branch?

Nguyen: Currently, our average daily attendance is about 200 – including the sports leagues. We also have about 120 enrolled in the after-school program. That puts our facility on the higher end of average daily attendance compared to the other San Diego facilities.

Question: What is your background and how did you become involved in Boys & Girls Club?

Nguyen: I was born in Houston and moved to California when I was in first grade. Growing up in Linda Vista, I attended the Boys & Girls Club there starting at a young age. It was a fun and very positive place to be – and had a lot of sports programs. When I was older and in middle school, I volunteered at the club as a tutor. I attended UCSD and majored in communications and intended to go into broadcast journalism, but I still had positive memories of my previous experience with the Boys & Girls Club organization. That continued interest led to working at the Carlsbad Village facility, and eventually overseeing the programs there. I moved to site supervisor at the 4S Ranch Branch a little more than two years ago.

Question: What is the staffing size at the local club?

Nguyen: Currently, we have 10 staff members for our regular programs, the sports leagues and the after-school program.

Question: What are the most popular programs at the club?

Nguyen: While we provide a wide range of programs that are popular, our sports and fitness activities – including our basketball and volleyball leagues – are the best attended. Our overall programs usually fall into one of several categories:

  • Arts
  • Sports and fitness
  • Character and leadership
  • Health and life
  • Careers
  • Community volunteerism

Question: What is the club’s philosophy, in terms of meeting the needs of the community and its young people?

Nguyen: We try to be creative – and attempt to give the kids a unique experience. We offer structure – and certainly work with those who face obstacles, whether it’s homework issues or self-esteem. We recognize that everyone has potential, and we work to find the right techniques. We’re fortunate to be located in a good community with good kids.

Question: Is there something that will surprise the community about the club?

Nguyen: We find a lot of people don’t even know this place exists. And some who do know we’re here, don’t always know the full extent of our resources. For instance, we don’t just babysit – we work closely with the young people. We even have mandatory homework time in our after-school program.

Question: What are the club’s future plans at the 4S Ranch Branch?

Nguyen: We hope to involve many more children from the community in our programs. We have a large facility and we can handle more members.