After 46 years, Patricia Jackson retires from Boys and Girls Club


After nearly a half-century of service to metro Atlanta area Boys and Girls Clubs, Patricia Jackson was honored at a retirement ceremony Jan. 30.

Friends, family and colleagues gathered at Redan Recreation Center in Lithonia to honor Jackson, who served the Boys and Girls Club for 46 years.

DeKalb County Commissioner Gregory Adams presented Jackson with a proclamation recognizing Jan. 30, 2018 as Patricia Jackson Day.

“Ms. Jackson has demonstrated her passion for service excellence in her community through the programs she developed and implemented and from the honors and awards received during her career,” the proclamation read.

Jackson’s career with Boys and Girls Club began in December 1971 as program assistant with the Grady Homes Girls Club. In 1975, Grady Homes and the Atlanta Girls Club merged to form the Girls Club of Metro Atlanta.

Through this time, Jackson worked to give the girls exposure to “nontraditional” careers. She helped the club establish a partnership with the Women in Architect Association. She assisted in the development of the Girls Club gymnastics program and developed an intergenerational service project program with A.G. Rhodes Nursing Homes. She also helped develop and produce an annual circus event for the club.

Jackson worked to promote girls’ physical, intellectual, financial and emotional wellness through the Girls Club of America National Research Center.

In 1990, The Boys Club of America and Girls Club of America merged to form the Boys and Girls Club of America—a move Jackson didn’t favor.

“I must be honest, 1990 and 1991 were challenging for me because I was totally against the merger of becoming Boys and Girls Club both on the local and national level,” she said. “Yet I continued to find my way.”

Jackson helped develop the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta annual science expo at the College Park Auditorium beginning in 1990. In 1992, Jackson received the C.A.R.E (Children Are the Reason for Excellence) Award, which is given annually as recognition for outstanding efforts to impact the lives of children throughout the Georgia area.

This was followed by a string of awards, including the 1999 Boys and Girls Club Honor Award for Overall Program Excellence and the 2003 Southeast Region Keystone of the Year.

Through her time with Boys and Girls Club, Jackson has served at the Draper, Warren, Jones and East DeKalb clubs, but she said after 46 years, she decided it was time to “pass the baton of youth development to colleagues to continue the journey.”

“This journey has taken 46 years and it has been amazing as well as challenging,” she said. “I can honestly say I have been truly blessed to work in the trenches with the youth of metro Atlanta.”


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