Today we get to meet Kendra Moore. Kendra Moore is the Executive Club Director at the Ira Samelson Jr. Boys & Girls Club located at 894 Isabelle which is in the immediate Highland/Mitchell Heights area. Kendra Moore is a 1997 Treadwell High School graduate who was ranked 3rd within her class. Hear Kendra’s impacting story.
After graduating from Treadwell, what did you do?
In the fall of 1997, I attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville were I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. After graduation, I came back to Memphis to have my daughter. After the birth of my precious gift, I moved to Mississippi (my hometown) and started working within the school system. I worked there for approximately two years and ventured back to Memphis to work within their school district. I then began working at Millington Elementary (Shelby County School District) and finally embarked upon Memphis City Schools as a Para-professional. I worked from 2006-2010 with Memphis City Schools until the district had a massive lay-off. I came to the Boys and Girls Club in January of 2006 and my career immediately blossomed within the company. Within a few months, I was promoted to Program Director and the following year I was promoted to Senior Program Director. I have been the Interim Executive Director twice and within 2012 I was promoted to Executive Club Director.
How has your career helped to influence the people/youth in a positive way?
I think it actually started as a young girl being that I was the second oldest of four children. I had to grow up very quick being an older sibling to my two younger siblings (who are also graduates of Treadwell High School- Theo Jones and Jessica Jones Henderson c/o 2005). I knew that structure was always a roll that we had to play in children’s lives. I gained more patience when I had my daughter in 2002. With these culminating factors of being an older sibling, becoming a parent, and working within the school systems, I knew that having structure and discipline are the key factors in having a positive relationship with younger children and teens.
Why do you cherish this neighborhood/community?
I actually moved to this neighborhood from my hometown in 1992. I enrolled at Treadwell High School at that time. You could see a lot of great things happening in the neighborhood. There was a dynamic diversity with age and ethnicity, particularly around the Boys and Girls Club. When this neighborhood began to flourish, it was predominately whites. African Americans later migrated into the Highland/Mitchell Heights area. Taking a look now at the demographics, you have more Hispanics. It is like this neighborhood is a melting pot. Me moving here in this neighborhood as well as coming back to work, I knew I wanted to be an individual that left a thumb print within the many children and young adults’ lives that walk through these doors.
What is your vision for residents and/or Mitchell Heights in the future?
My vision for this particular area is for the community to come together. I have spoken with my Board ofDirectors of the Boys and Girls Club seeking ways to get multiple youth agencies, businesses, churches, organizations, and schools to meet to assist in vitalizing this community for the youth now and in the future. In return, the youth can come back in the future knowing that Mitchell Heights is safe and is growing. As they give back they will have the confidence that they have grown up in this area, beat the odd, and become productive, responsible, and caring citizens.
What can the community/residents do to assist in this vision?
I think the residents are important in the revitalization because they are a key part of the community; although they are not in the Boys & Girls Club or schools. The residents want to be safe. By having places for the youth to go to become productive, then there is less crime. In return, the residents are affected less. I would like the residents to come in to see how they can volunteer to assist the organizations that are working within close proximity with the community.
Any last words you would like to say?
I certainly appreciate being able to be a part of the revitalization of this community. In the end, I think this will be a ministry. I want all the agencies in this area including the residents to unite to see that this neighborhood continues to flourish.