Kenneth R. Darden
President/CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore, Inc.
Ken Darden is a veteran of 38 years with the Boys & Girls Club Movement. Ken has worked at a number of Clubs in various positions. He served in executive capacities with Clubs in Chicago, Washington, D.C.; Annapolis, MD and with the National Organization (Boys & Girls Clubs of America) in Atlanta.
Before going to Baltimore, Maryland, Ken served nine-years as the President/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, CT (the birthplace of the Boys & Girls Club Movement). Ken provided executive leadership for four full service Clubs, three school-based Clubs and a Club housed in a juvenile detention facility, serving over 8,000 children in the Greater Hartford area. Ken was also part of the leadership that organized Hartford’s successful Capitol Campaign to build a new 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art Boys & Girls Club facility.
Ken is a former Robert W. Woodruff Fellow. He received his master degree in nonprofit management and fundraising from the New School for Social Research in New York and his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from City College of New York.
Vice President of Operations, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore, Inc.
Gordon (Jeff) Johnson, originally from (Upstate) Utica NY began working with youth after making a conscious decision to leave the medical field in order that he may have more of an impact on the lives of young people. Since then he has worked with youth for most of his adult life. Jeff Johnson has been employed with Boys & Girls Clubs movement for more than 12yrs. Prior to Boys & Girls Clubs he was employed by the Utica Family YMCA (Utica NY) as the Sr. Program and Aquatics Director and as one of the City of Utica’s Youth Bureau Director’s under the direction of Mayor Tim Julian, of which he coordinated the City’s After-school & Summer Sports programs.
Jeff Johnson is also the Co-founder of the “Hoops & Dreams” Project (based in Utica NY) which is a Community wide initiative designed to empower Young Men & Families through education & prevention. He also brings the experience of serving on several Board/Committees to include NAACP, United Way and City of Utica Youth Advisory Board (Utica NY).
Vice President of Resource Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore, Inc.
Y’landa Simmons is the Vice President of Resource Development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore. In 2007, Simmons along with the Executive Director came to Baltimore and revitalized Boys & Girls Clubs in the metropolitan area. The organization has flourished; four traditional Clubs and a specialized unit for boys only in the Juvenile Justice Center. In the past four years, the BGCMB has served over 2500 youth in the City.
Simmons has been with the Boys & Girls Club Movement for over ten years. She worked seven of those years with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, Inc. as the Director for their newest and largest facility, The Asylum Hill Unit. There she was responsible for providing programs and services for more than 1500 youth and families. Due to her high standards and expectations, her site was recognized as one of the top Family PLUS sites and organization recognized as one of the top 25 Clubs for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. For almost twenty five years she has worked in local communities and agencies in various capacities inspiring young people to reach their potential.
Simmons is a Robert W. Woodruff Fellow, graduate of the Strom Thurman Advanced Leadership Program, and is a Distinguished Member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Academy. She most recently obtained her Masters in Nonprofit Management from the University of Maryland. Her undergraduate degree is in African American Studies and post-baccalaureate in Secondary Education- English from Central Connecticut State University. She is a National Trainer for Boys & Girls Clubs in the areas of SMART Moves, SMART Girls, Family PLUS, & Program Basics and has had the wonderful opportunity to train over 250 Youth Development Professionals in The Movement.
Vice President of Program Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore, Inc.
Matthew has been working in the youth development field for over twelve years, ten of those years with BGCA. Matthew started out as a part time employee with Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, worked his way up to Child Care Director and then Unit Director. Matthew left BGCA to work for two years in a privately owned child care organization. When the opportunity became available, immediately returned to BGCA as a Unit Director before becoming the Director of Education and Prevention Programs for Metropolitan Baltimore. Matthew has had the opportunity to work with numerous children and has loved every second of it. Matthew holds a bachelor’s degree from Wilmington University with a focus in elementary and early education. He attended UMUC and received a certificate in Human Resource Management. Matthew loves spending time with his family and enjoys watching football and baseball.
Ayana M. Young
Director of Administration & Outcome Measurements, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore, Inc.
Ayana came to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore in October 2010 from the 100 Black Men of Maryland's 100 College Access Program, where she served as the Program Manager for the organization. Previously, she worked for AEGON, as executive assistant to the General Counsel for seven years, and then as an account executive for one of their subsidiaries, Premier Solutions Group where she trained accounts on their insurance & financial service products.
Ayana attends University of Maryland University College, where she is pursuing a degree in Legal Studies & Human Resource Management. She is married and is the mother of four. Ayana enjoys spending time with her family and reading.