“Our goal of the Youth Center has always been to meet the needs of the community, and we will continue to do that,” he said. “The need for even just a space for other organizations is up, so our doors are open a lot more and more often than they used to be.”
Lynne Baron, GYC Board of Director Chair, said they are “thrilled” to welcome Hodsdon into a full-time position. “Since the inception of the center in 2009, Scott has generated a number of extremely successful programs serving the Gilford community and beyond,” she said. “We look forward to our continued work with Scott and increasing GYC’s programs and outreach.”
In looking to the future, though, Hodsdon said he cannot help but reflect on his past 16-and-a-half years at GCC and the support he has received during that time from kids, parents, and members. “Without that support, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I have done there and for the kids to have the life changing opportunities that they have had—and for that I am very fortunate,” he said.
As for his philosophy behind youth programming, Hodsdon cited his intent to teach young people that they have the ability to make a difference for others in the community. “They can make their community better by the acts that they do,” he said.
For Hodsdon, ‘community’ is the most important part of his philosophy, a belief he was able to enact at GCC where he talked with kids about community, faith, and family. “The hope is that kids could take what they learned at Sunday School and bring it back into the community,” he said.
Regarding the connection between the two organizations, GCC Pastor Michael Graham said the church helped to found GYC, which is located next door. Aside from sharing staff and a community engagement philosophy, though, he said the organizations are distinct entities.
“The Youth Center is open and accessible to everyone in the surrounding communities—young and old,” he said. “It is not a program of the church, but we do share a deep commitment to serving the community…We will miss Scott as director of our youth programs at the church, but we are excited that we can continue to partner with him on shared community initiatives.”
To learn more about GYC, visit gilfordyouthcenter.com.