Jackie Glover, Program Coordinator for the Oroville YMCA, has devoted her life to empowering youth. “I have been part of the Y here for 17 years,” she says. The Oroville Y, the only YMCA in Butte County, is a branch of YMCA of Superior California, an organization that covers nine northern California counties.
Jackie grew up being part of the Oroville Y. As a young junior high school student, she developed and implemented a program for the organization called True Love Waits. It focused on teaching boys and girls to practice abstinence before marriage.
When she was 16, Jackie became a day and residential camp counselor and a lifeguard. At the tender age of 17, she was the day camp director. “I wouldn’t be able to do that today. It just wouldn’t fly,” she reveals. “I would be considered way too young and inexperienced.” She says that requirements were much looser then.
Jackie started her adult career as the Y office program manager. In her current position, she is second in command. Celeste Silva, service area director at the Oroville YMCA and Jackie’s supervisor, says, “It’s very gratifying to see that a child grows up through the YMCA then becomes one of our staff members.”
As program coordinator, Jackie oversees the youth and sports programs and occasionally does tasks outside her job description. “In a small non-profit, you have to be flexible and move around when needed,” she states.
While her enthusiasm abounds for all her work, the Y’s Summer Day Camp program brings the greatest joy. “It’s what’s closest to my heart,” she says. “Since I was 17, I’ve stuck with the Y and with Day Camp because I can see that I’ve made a difference.” What started out as a camp with nine children has grown to 130 registered for summer 2013.
Although primarily a traditional day camp with arts, crafts, games, aquatics and field trips, Jackie says that what makes the Oroville camp unique is that character development is included. “It’s a YMCA-specific program, and we focus on honesty, caring, responsibility and respect.” The goal is to help children develop spirit, mind and body.
As well as overseeing programs, Jackie collaborates with other organizations to develop opportunities for the children of Oroville. “We’re all about collaboration,” she says, “so we use our community’s resources to help the kids.” One partnership funds the summer food program that provides breakfast and lunch to all children enrolled in Day Camp at no additional cost; all Oroville children are allowed to come in for a healthy meal.
“We collaborate with the City of Oroville under a three-year grant that allows lower income families to participate in summer camp,” says Jackie. Parents enroll their children knowing participants receive two meals each day, an academic enrichment program to maintain or improve academic skills, and the opportunity to enjoy water activities.
Jackie was born in Paradise and moved to Oroville when she was five. She went through the Oroville school system, then on to Butte College. While there, she was one of 30 student senators for the 109 California Community Colleges. At a meet and greet for the Republican Party, she briefly met Arnold Schwarzenegger. In their verbal exchange, he stated: “Trying is not good enough. Just do it.” “I use that quote with my staff,” Jackie says. “It keeps us focused on what is possible.”
Along with her husband, David, Jackie is deeply involved with the Oroville community. They are on the board of directors of the Birdcage Theatre, where she serves as vice president. She directs plays for the organization and David is a tech person. They are also strong supporters of the State Theatre. “We’re very community oriented,” she says. “I love our community. I love supporting our small businesses. They make the community.”
With the myriad activities Jackie engages in, the YMCA is her passion and her life. “I love the impact of what I can do for the families and the kids,” she says. Celeste Silva reflects those sentiments: “Jackie gives everything that she has learned to others.”
To reach Jackie Glover call (530) 533-9622.
[sws_blue_box box_size=”580″]The mission of our Be the Change column is to feature a community member from the North State who is actively making a difference in the lives of children and families. If you would like to nominate someone who is making a difference, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org[/sws_blue_box]