Brian Hughes, Tech Coordinator at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue, is more than your run of the mill “tech guy”, he is your “we couldn’t function without you, please help me fix this, tech guy.” Brian started out as a club kid at Hidden Village, moved on as their volunteering computer lab manager and was eventually hired on as our full time Tech Coordinator. With lack of support at home as a kid, Brian saw the club as a safe haven for him to hang out at after school.
“Let’s just say I was a bad kid. I was very smart so if I wasn’t putting my brain to good use, I was putting it to bad use. On top of that I had parents that weren’t very involved in my life and didn’t pay attention to what I was getting into”
Brian was often more interested in throwing stink bombs into vents at school than using his tech smarts to make a difference. Mark Haines, previous director of the Hidden Village clubhouse, saw his potential and challenged him to fix a non-functioning website in one weekend in exchange for a tech job at the club.
“If you can get this all up and running, they’ll drop that guy. If you can do it, as one of our club kids, we’d love for you to get paid instead of him.” (CIS University of Washington)
So in one weekend he gutted and rebuilt the website “It worked beautifully” Brian said, and ever since that he has been our go-to tech guy. His expertise in teaching safe social networking skills, using technology programs that promote learning and preparing kids for an internet savvy workplace are skills that our kids need now more than ever.
Brian’s story is one that should be shared with all supporters of The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue. Brian is an example of the quality of work that our staff strives for; “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring responsible citizens.” Making change through education and empowerment is one that we heavily support here at the club and thanks to the support from club staff as a kid; Brian now runs all of the Digital Arts Programs (photo editing, movie making, graphic design, game design and Lego Robotics). Brian works nonstop for us at the club. If you have a tech issue he will find a way to fit you in to his hectic day.
“I’ve gone through things that these kids are facing and can be the person to help them work through it. I can give them a chance to succeed through technology. I love that I come to the club and make kids smile. Having the opportunity to turn a horrible day into a great day is the most rewarding part of my job. It’s incomparable.” (BGCA.org).