Empowering Youth for a Brighter Future: A Look into Social and Tech Entrepreneur

Empowering youth is a fruitful result that brings about social and economic mobility opportunities for underserved communities. This is the focus of Shawn H. Wilson’s career, a social and tech entrepreneur and pioneer of professionalizing celebrity philanthropy for greater social impact. Shawn’s efforts in creating opportunities for underserved communities have been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and during keynote speeches at MIT, Harvard, and the Clinton Global Initiative University.

Shawn H. Wilson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan. This organization has been providing a safe space for youth to learn and have fun while providing them with the economic, cultural, and social capital needed to become career, startup, and homeowner ready for 95 years.

Under Shawn’s leadership, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan’s mission is to provide a world-class experience that empowers youth to reach their full potential as change agents for their life, club, and community, while ensuring youth are career, startup, and homeowner ready before they leave the clubs at 18 years old. The vision of the organization is to inspire, educate, and empower youth while strengthening surrounding communities.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan has been a force for good in kids’ lives for almost a century. Each decade has brought new challenges and opportunities, some local, some national, and some global. From the industrial revolution to the digital revolution, through a World War, a great depression, devastating riots, and the COVID-19 pandemic, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan has been a constant in the lives of the youth they serve.

Every year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan serves 15,000 youth between the ages of 6 and 18 to their clubs and school-based sites. The moment the youth members walk through their doors, they enter an environment of stability, consistency, and physical and emotional safety. The club’s programs are designed to be fun and engaging while building skills and confidence for a successful future. The clubs are open when kids need them most – after school, on most school holidays, and all day during the summer, providing safe places where young people can learn, grow, and succeed.

Before his role at Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Shawn has an impressive track record of driving social and economic mobility in multicultural communities. He was responsible for partnering with eight-time Grammy winner Usher to relaunch and lead operations for one of the country’s most innovative operating nonprofits dedicated to certifying youth as global leaders – Usher’s New Look. He led and developed the organizational strategy and near-peer program model, which certified over 21,000 youth as global leaders and delivered 300,000 hours of curriculum-based training in five states and seven global communities, including Nairobi, London, and Shanghai. Additionally, he led the development and prototyping of “Music Leadership 101”, a social enterprise and full credit earning blended learning K-12 curriculum adopted in GA, OH, NC, and FL.

Shawn’s servant leadership style has significantly impacted his role at Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan and the youth that the organization serves. Under his leadership, the organization has provided even more opportunities for youth to reach their full potential and create brighter futures for themselves and their communities.

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