Lamar Phillips, 17, a senior at Taconic High School, wandered into the Boys' and Girls' Club one day when he was in 3rd Grade and has pretty much been here ever since.
“On my first day, I went to the big gym where I met Mr. Keegan,” Lamar recalled, referring to Chris Keegan, program director at the Club. “I had my boots on, which isn’t allowed in the gym.”
Mr. Keegan took Lamar under his wing, explained the rules and helped the youngster get a membership.
“Since then, I’ve done everything you could possibly do here,” Lamar said. “I’ve done ice skating, wood working and lots of other programs, but I loved basketball and spent most of my time in the gym. I played on all of the house leagues and travel teams. Once I discovered the Club, I was always here. This is definitely a place for kids to come and meet people you don’t see on your side of town.”
When he was a freshman in high school, Lamar joined the Junior-Senior Leader’s Club and already had a part-time job working in the locker room. “I think one of the reasons they hired me was because I was mature enough to work here,” he said. “They teach you how to do things the right way. They make sure we have fun, but they also want us to learn.”
Today, Lamar is a supervisor in the big gym; he works at Camp Russell in the summer and is a standout guard on the Taconic High School varsity basketball team. He plans to go to college next fall, but says the Boys’ and Girls’ Club will always factor significantly in his life.
"This is where I came from," he said.