When the Boys and Girls Club of the Hatchie River Region was founded, Felisha Mason remembered driving past it stating that she would never be able to work there. Little did she know that a Facebook invite began her journey to being the chief executive officer over the organization.
Mason’s Facebook friend sent an invitation to follow the BGCA page, which led to her interest in filling out a volunteer form; that turned into a part-time job as a youth-development professional.
Her experience with children came from interning at Westside Middle School in Memphis. Interacting with them sparked a love for children.
“I was always drawn to kids after that,” Mason said.
She began her career there under Tracey Johnson, the CEO during that time, and worked her way up into a full-time spot. When Johnson left, James Moore became CEO.
Last year, Moore stepped down from his position, which opened up a chance for Mason to take over the building. In no time she was voted by the board as CEO, becoming the second black female to achieve this feat.
While Mason redefined standards, she remained humble as she used her past for motivation. People wrote her off in high school when she became pregnant her senior year.
“I’ll never forget being told that I wouldn’t graduate,” she said.
Though being a teen mother was difficult, she remained confident in what she is good at, accepted any challenges thrown her way, and stayed true to herself to be the best example for the children entering the building each day.
Now in the lead role, she strives to put emphasis on the club that is hidden on the north end of town in Frazier Park.
“We are really trying to rebrand and show everybody that we are the Boys and Girls Club,” Mason said.
The Boys & Girls Club is located at 412C Alston Circle in Covington. For more information, see bghrr.com.