Erly Saldano, the new director of the Gus Barksdale Boys and Girls Club, may be new to Conyers but he comes with a background in working with community programs to better the lives of children.
Previously, he worked in the Lawrenceville Boys and Girls Club, where he raised more than $5,000 for the teen center and increased program participation by 75 percent.
Saldano came to Georgia in 2005 from Los Angles, Calif., where he served in Beverly Hills and South Central as a program coordinator for the Department of Juvenile Justice. He also helped reduce gang violence by mediating between rival gangs and worked closely with the University of Southern California’s school of social work (hence his affinity for the Trojans).
Of coming to Conyers, he said "It’s been great. I’ve stumbled upon a great community."
Saldano said he wants to build up the center’s tutoring program by working with local colleges and universities, such as Emory’s Oxford College, Georgia State and Georgia Perimeter College, which he hopes could help to build a strong mentorship program. Other goals include holding career fairs and eventually being a host site for SAT tests.