“Give back in big and small ways because they both have a significant impact on our community.“
-Dodson Bennett-Watler, Berkshire Partners Blue Hill Club Alum and Co-Owner of MYTH Boston
After relocating to the Dorchester neighborhood and parting from his previous afterschool program, Dodson’s introduction to the Berkshire Partners Blue Hill Club started at the age of 12. Although parting ways with his former afterschool community was a challenge, through the encouragement of family, Dodson embraced the opportunity to become a member of the Boys & Girls Club via programs such as the Keystone student leadership group. Through Keystone, Dodson gradually grew more acclimated to the Blue Hill Club and its supportive community, and his participation expanded beyond once a week and became a consistent presence, where Dodson was able to foster connections with Club staff and fellow members, as well as strengthen his leadership skills.
As Dodson began attending the Club during his teenage years, his initial focus naturally gravitated toward the teen center. However, Dodson’s curiosity led him to explore other activity spaces within the Club, including the music and art rooms.
In the music room, Dodson was aided by the former Music Director Rick Aggler, who helped him delve into the intricacies of music production. Through the Boys & Girls Club, Dodson gained experiences that shaped his appreciation of musical performances among his peers. As a teenager passionate about music, Dodson appreciated the opportunity to learn advanced music software without the burden of expensive studio costs. The Club’s access to these resources allowed Dodson the freedom to explore his musical pursuits.
In the art room, Dodson found a mentor in the former Art Director Ryan Davis who helped him explore the creation of printed clothing. With a longstanding interest in streetwear, Dodson was intrigued by his introduction to crafting T-shirts and other apparel through the Boys & Girls Club. The Club’s accessibility to skills like clothing design resonated with Dodson, providing him a space to sharpen his craft. Beyond learning the skill of printed clothing, Dodson was encouraged to extend his skills to Photoshop techniques through the Boys & Girls Club, which inspired him to create his own unique designs.
“I really appreciated the opportunity to just see how clothing was made. It really opened my eyes and gave me more perspective about how other notable branded clothing is made.”
Dodson’s growth within the Club extended through his secondary school years at Match Charter Public School, where Dodson was a dedicated lacrosse athlete and became a source of inspiration for fellow Club members to explore sports. Dodson attributes his interests to the supportive Club staff, who not only shared their passions but also took the initiative to teach their knowledge to eager Club members.
Dodson holds great gratitude to Shari Maestre, a staff member at the Berkshire Partners Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club, with whom he developed a meaningful connection. Recognizing the challenges many BGCB members face with parents working after school hours, Dodson appreciated the role of dedicated staff members like Shari, who played an important role in providing care and support. Dodson, having experienced the Club as a second home, holds an immense appreciation for individuals like Shari, whose guardianship made a true difference in his life, and with that, Dodson extends his thanks to Shari for her enduring positive influence.
The Creation of MYTH Boston
Dodson’s entrepreneurial journey began at the Boys & Girls Club when he created MYTH Boston with his fellow Club members. In the budding stages of MYTH Boston, Dodson, alongside another Club alum named Londo Banks, purchased blank shirts and leveraged their acquired skills from the Art Room toward printed apparel designs, and began printing the MYTH Boston logo onto clothes. This marked the creation of his entrepreneurial venture, where Dodson and his business partner crafted a brand and developed a consumer base within the Boston community.
The founding of MYTH Boston not only provided Dodson with a platform to showcase his creative skills but also served as a great learning experience for understanding brand maintenance. As MYTH Boston celebrates its eighth year, Dodson aims to continue strengthening his business-oriented skills, ensuring the sustained success of his clothing brand.
Dodson expresses great gratitude to former Art Director Ryan Davis for being a positive guide and inspiration throughout the process of creating his clothing brand. Ryan’s mentorship was crucial in sparking Dodson’s passion for unique street clothing, and his assistance became key in the creation and growth of MYTH Boston.
“I wish I could give Ryan every penny I ever made. He really inspired us to continue working on our passion for branded clothing. Hopefully, we can go back one day and inspire some kids as well, and maybe we can become the ‘Ryan’ for somebody else.”
The Boys & Girls Club greatly aided Dodson in his creative endeavors and learning about the nature of being an entrepreneur, making him successful in fashion and business. With this exciting venture in mind, Dodson attended Bentley University studying marketing and business as an undergraduate student, and gained more knowledge about both professional fields.
The most important value for Dodson with MYTH Boston is the goal of being a sustainable enterprise. Dodson is committed to creating a long-lasting brand that reflects his authentic narrative and connection to the city of Boston. For Dodson, success is in the final product, its relationship with the community, and the impact it leaves behind. Dodson aims to ensure that everything he and his business partner create is a source of pride, a devotion that exists strongly in the ongoing journey of MYTH Boston.
“We want everything we create to be as organic as our story.”
Dodson Bennett-Watler and Londo Banks at Bentley University Fashion Show, 2022
MYTH Boston Merchandise
Reebok and Blue Hill Club Shoe Giveaway
Dodson currently holds the position of Global Brand Marketing Coordinator at Reebok. He uses his professional role at Reebok to help sustain partnerships with BGCB. Recently, Dodson initiated a collaborative effort to host a shoe giveaway for current club members at Blue Hill Club. As an employee of Reebok who is positioned with access to an excess of products, Dodson is committed to giving back to those in need. As a result, Dodson, alongside other fellow Blue Hill Club alumni, actively volunteered at the event, assisting members in finding their perfect shoe sizes and generously gifting them with pairs to take home. This collaboration between Dodson and the Boys & Girls Club through Reebok served over 100 Club members, showcasing Dodson’s dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of those within the community.
“I think if you come from where we come from, you feel like if you can give back to your community, you would. I feel like a lot of people would love to give back to their Club or their neighborhood, but they may not always have the means to do so. I made it a big goal in my life that regardless of who I work with, whether at Reebok or elsewhere, I need to give back to my community. Whatever I can give, I will give.”
Dodson’s dedication to community service extends beyond his role at Reebok; it also is evident through MYTH Boston. During the summer of 2022, Dodson organized a social event for Club members at the Blue Hill Club, creating a space for games and socializing. Through this gathering, Dodson sought to emphasize the idea that anyone, regardless of their background, can make a positive impact if they find the means to do so. He believes that giving back isn’t limited to individuals with notable names or big brands; rather, it can be a collective effort from internal community members who grew up in Boston, contributing in meaningful and impactful ways. Dodson’s actions are an example of the belief that small contributions can bring forth significant and positive change within a community.
“Give back in small and big ways because they both have significant impacts on our community. Plus, giving back is fun. It’s fun to see kids and make people happy.”
Dodson Bennett-Watler and Carl Thompson, Blue Hill Club Director
Dodson's Commitment to Giving Back
Dodson advocates that an important aspect of everyone’s aspirations should involve giving back to the community that has supported them. His personal objective is to be an inspiration for fellow Club members, emphasizing that achieving success should always include a commitment to giving back to one’s community. Through his actions, Dodson hopes to emphasize that success is not just about personal accomplishments, but is also tied to making positive contributions to the community that has played a big role in his life journey.
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Reebok and Blue Hill Club Shoe Giveaway