Diversity and Community Engagement
The University of Mississippi

Community Chats – Kenorus Wilson

“Lives depend on you.” – Kenorus Wilson

On this episode of Community Chats, Kenorus Wilson, director of the LOU Boys & Girls Club, talks with our team about his role in shaping the next generation of community leaders. His work fostering responsibility, leadership and success in the youth of our community is incredibly valuable, so tune in now!

After coming to the University of Mississippi to pursue a degree in music education, Wilson found himself as a volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club in 2013 and quickly came on staff in June of that same year. Wilson credits his position to his former director and fellow church member, Lamont Watkins, who assured him a position should one open up. “He kept his word,” said Wilson, “and I’ll always take my hat off to him.”

The old saying goes “Our youth are the leaders of tomorrow,” but Wilson and his team like to take it a step further. “We’re training them to be leaders of today in preparation for their future,” said Wilson. The mission of the Boys & Girls Club is “to inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as responsible, productive and caring citizens,” and through their extensive programs and initiatives, they are doing just that. Wilson hopes the Boys & Girls Club can act as a beacon of hope and a light that shines bright throughout the entire community.

The programs offered at the Boys & Girls Club center around leadership, mentorship, academic success and career readiness. For example, their Power Hour is a time for students to study, do homework and seek mentorship and is typically followed by a time for them to socialize and decompress after a long day at school. “We try to mix both,” said Wilson, “make sure we take care of business and then have fun.” Other programs like Career Launch, SMART Moves and Money Matters, among many others, teach youth life skills, ways to cope with stress, financial literacy and the importance of community.

With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting school schedules, Wilson says it is a challenge to provide the regular services to those who may get out of school at a later time. “Whether they’re here for two hours, or whether they’re here for five minutes, we still want to offer that safe haven, that fun educational environment,” said Wilson. Despite this challenge, however, Wilson takes reward in knowing that he and his team our touching the lives of youth in our community each and every day. Whether that be through tutoring or by attending school events, the team at the Boys & Girls Club ensure that the safe haven felt within the four walls of the clubhouse is felt outside those four walls, as wells.

In his final message, Wilson thanks the LOU community for their continued support throughout the years and asks for anyone to reach out with opportunities for their students to serve our community. “We’re trying to teach them how to be responsible and how to give back to your community that supported you in so many ways,” Wilson said. If you would like to get involved with the Boys & Girls Club or if you have service opportunities for them, you can contact Wilson at kwilson@bgcnms.org.

Watch this episode and all other episodes of Community Chats on our Facebook (@UMengaged) and YouTube (Engaged UM), and listen to our podcast on Spotify and iTunes. Make sure to like, comment, and share this series as we continue to highlight community leaders across the LOU area.

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