For more than 30 years, Judith J. Pickens has championed the belief that the well being of America’s young people is everyone’s responsibility, and as senior vice president of programs and youth development services for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, she wants you!
Ask anybody who has worked alongside Pickens her greatest strength, and they would say without fail her indefatigable passion to give every child in America the skills necessary to achieve a great future. As an educator, psychologist and youth development professional, Pickens witnessed early on the damage done to young people society had kicked to the curb. Her promise to the more than 4 million youth served by some 4,000 community-based clubhouses is that you are now entering a safety zone, free of negative stereotypes, where the size of your heart is more important than your ZIP code. Under her leadership, BGCA has developed evidence-based programs to successfully attack childhood obesity, reduce youth-related violence and close the academic achievement gap — especially among minority youth. Her proudest moment to date was escorting a group of young people victimized by Hurricane Katrina to the inauguration of President Barack Obama