Skip to main content

I know if I ever needed something I could always rely on my Boys & Girls Club family to point me in the right direction or provide me with an opportunity that I didn’t even know existed.”

– Jayana Greene, Yawkey Club of Roxbury alumna and RN at Boston Medical Center.

Cultivating Leadership from a Young Age

Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston doesn’t just create leaders; it nurtures them from a young age, instilling in them a deep-seated passion for community service and personal development.  

Jayana Greene’s story is a testament to the profound impact of her Club on its members. Starting her journey at just eight years old at Yawkey Club of Roxbury, the Club was more than a place to go after school—it was a foundational experience that shaped her into the community leader she is today. 

“I credit everything to The Club. I would say more so my professionalism, instilling a lot of that advice from the Club programs from an early age really helped prepare me for the industry I’m in now,” states Greene. 

“I owe a lot of it, my poise, my presentation, my elevator pitch, all of that came from the Boys & Girls Club. Had I not participated in an afterschool program like The Club I don’t think I would’ve gotten half the skills I have.” Greene continues. 

She says she had other friends from school who didn’t have experience from programs like the Club and they would look to her for help, and she loved sharing what she learned with them. 

Jayana Greene, BGCB Alum and RN.

From Club Member to Community Leader

Jayana’s first experience with leadership within the Club was through Young Leaders. 

“I started off with young leaders, that was like my first job ever. It felt great to be working and having my own money,” Greene remembers. 

Young Leaders offers preteens who have aged out of summer camp, valuable work experience. As a Young Leader Greene was able to help out in setting up Club activities such as breakfast and lunch as well as Fun Friday events.   

Young Leaders also participated in career and finance workshops to learn about how to act in professional settings and how to manage the money they made from Young Leaders. 

From there Greene became involved in the Yawkey Club’s leadership pipeline in the school year, starting with Torch Club, later aging up to the Keystone Club.  

Jayana also participated in the summer as a CIT (Counselor in Training) and Junior Staff (now known as Teen Associate). 

These programs not only honed her leadership skills but also deepened her commitment to her community. Each program, meticulously designed to build character and leadership, played a crucial role in her personal and professional growth.  

“For Torch Club it helped my 13–14-year-old self, for keystone it helped me from 14 to 18. So, I think each program served its purpose in my life during that time,” says Greene. 

As she progressed through these programs, Jayana developed a robust sense of responsibility towards her community, which has become a defining element of her character. 

Cultural and Global Exposure: Explore India Program

One of the most significant experiences for Jayana at the Club was the Explore India program. When asked about her favorite part of her time at The Club she immediately responded,  

“My favorite part hands down was, Explore India. It was such a surreal experience and to say I went to India at the age I did, through the Boys & Girls Club for little to no money just makes me think of how grateful I am. I was grateful then but, I’m even more grateful now,” Greene raves. 

Yawkey Club Members, including Greene, posed with Teens in India at local school.

This initiative offered a deep dive into Indian culture and history, culminating in a trip to India for those who showed dedication and passion. Only 10-12 youth were selected to travel to India after participating in the yearlong class which expanded their understanding of the country. 

Jayana’s participation in the Explore India Program was a life-changing experience that expanded her worldview and reinforced her desire to serve. This trip was not merely about travel; it was an educational journey that highlighted the importance of cultural competence and global awareness in leadership 

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston did a really great job at creating opportunities for inner city kids that may not get the chance to travel outside of the country. For me that was the highlight of anything I’ve ever done with the Boys & Girls Club,” Greene said. 

Keystone Club: The Impact of Community Service

Jayana says that after Explore India, Keystone was one of the great experiences she was able to partake in through the Boys & Girls Club. 

“It just helped ignite my passion for community service and public service in general. It was just something that was our pillar and we really devoted ourselves to. We’d rush and sign up and have fun,” she says. 

She went to the Keystone conferences and loved going to them being able to see and network with teen members from other Clubs. 

“The conferences were fun, it was great to connect with other Boys & Girls Club kids to see what they were doing at their Clubs,” Greene describes 

The Keystone Conferences would be in different parts of the country, so she was able to travel each year for those, which was an exciting part of the events. She was able to travel as far as Dallas, Texas and Anaheim, California for the conferences. 

Greene volunteering at her nonprofit Voices of Boston. Founded in 2020 to educate youth on the importance of civic engagement and motivate them to vote.

Ready to Work: A Launchpad for Community Engagement

The Ready to Work program at the Club was particularly influential for Jayana. It wasn’t just about career preparation—it was about cultivating a professional demeanor grounded in community service and ethical responsibility. 

“During my time it was still in its humble beginnings, when the program was first being furnished and started,” states Greene. 

“When I first started it was simply just resume prep and mock interviews. Learning how to interview and write cover letters.” Greene added. 

The program then went on to expand as she continued to participate. Pivotal opportunities like internships started to pop up and Jayana was able to get her foot in the door. 

“Because I was interested in Healthcare, I was able to be placed at Dana Farber Cancer Institute so I was the intern there over the summer and I was able to work in the pediatric oncology side and you know shadow some of them are still there being in the clinic and then I was also able to work on the adult side as well and there hematology oncology clinic,” Greene commented. 

 This program not only prepared her for a career in healthcare but also reinforced her lifelong passion for helping others. The program’s focus on professionalism and public speaking also helped her excel in her role today as a registered nurse at Boston Medical Center 

Evolution and Expansion: Pathways Bridge to Healthcare Program

Since Jayana’s time, the Club has significantly expanded its career readiness initiatives, particularly with the introduction of the Pathways Bridge to Healthcare Program.  

This new venture builds on the foundations of Ready to Work by providing targeted opportunities and training for young people interested in healthcare careers. The program reflects a dynamic adaptation to the evolving educational and professional landscape, offering a more specialized trajectory for aspiring healthcare professionals. 

Inspiring Future Generations

Today, as a registered nurse and an active Club alumna, Jayana is a role model to many young Club members. Through her actions and dedication, Jayana exemplifies the type of leader the Club aims to cultivate—passionate, dedicated, and forever committed to uplifting others. 

BGCB continues to be a beacon of hope and development for the youth of Boston, fostering leaders who go on to make significant impacts in their communities. 

Jayana Greene posed in her nurse’s scrubs.

Alumni like Jayana Greene showcase the transformative power of The Club’s programming, proving that with the right support and opportunities, young people can indeed become empowered leaders who contribute positively to society. 

Jayana’s advice to BGCB youth is, “Do it all. That is my advice, just participate.”  

“There’s so much stuff now that we’re offered at a young age and why not take the opportunity to do that. I say to all the young people who are unsure about participating I say just do it whether or not you like it, at least you tried. And who knows if you’ll grow a passion from it or gain a valuable experience.” Greene beamed. 

Jayana’s journey from a young club member to a community leader and healthcare professional underscores the lasting value of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston’s commitment to youth development and community service. 

Curious to learn more about BGCB? Learn more and get involved today.