Eric Higgs is Determined to Make a Difference in Middle Tennessee

CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (Courtesy Photo)
CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (Courtesy Photo)

Eric Higgs is in a great position of power. As CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, this Chicago native with roots in Jackson, Tennessee is using his position to make a difference in the lives of the youth in Middle Tennessee.

“I felt a strong call to this position. I lived my 26-year corporate career always seeking to find a way to ‘do good business and good community’ at the same time,” explained Higgs. “I’ve always volunteered in civic organizations and led many youth-oriented mentor programs. This job seemed like a wonderful opportunity to be in the center with my purpose every day.”

Higgs credits his own experiences with similar youth mentoring programs in the Chicago area with having a profound impact on his upbringing and wants to provide the same support to today’s youth.

“I didn’t grow up a club kid, but I grew up with programs like this in the Chicago Parks District, on the south side. My mom was a single parent and without these types of support programs and mentors, I don’t believe I would have had the same outcomes in life. It’s important that we reach and inspire young people early and often,” said Higgs.

Higgs recognizes that while schools provide a foundation for students to learn and grow, many students need additional support to flourish. And with that in mind, Higgs has a plan.
“Our mission is ‘to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.’ Today, 80% of the youth we serve are moderate to low income. We are focused on ensuring that 100% of them are ready for a great future. Ready for a great future means ready to read, ready for class, ready to graduate, ready for a career, and ready to serve in the community.” He continued, “we have recently launched some new focus areas to increase our digital education. We launched a new digital club call Club Next. It offers 3 things, reading support, math support, and access to an education enrichment platform called MYFUTURE. Additionally, this summer we are launching Code Academy, which are 1-week coding camps for our youth utilizing Apple iPads.”

The MYFUTURE platform is a part of what Higgs is calling DUB100BY2026. His five-year plan is to double the amount of youth served to 10,000 while having them 100% ready for their future by 2026. Higgs is determined and ready to make a difference in Middle Tennessee and hopefully, with his determination and hard work, this plan will see its way through. After all, this is more than just a job for Higgs. This is personal.

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