Waltham Boys & Girls Club Volunteer “Building” New Opportunities for Local Youth

As a Board Member and Chair of the Waltham Boys & Girls Club Facilities Committee, John Porter has what he sees as “the best of both worlds”: opportunities to work alongside some of the most dedicated and passionate volunteers, as well as being able to have a direct impact on the wellbeing of the youth we serve. “I grew up in Waltham and spent time at the Waltham Boys & Girls Club, which started with swimming lessons when I was in elementary school. When I was asked to serve on the Board and leverage my background in civil and structural engineering to help maintain and improve the facility, the answer was easy – Yes!”

John credits one of his best friends and fellow Board member, Geoff Stanton, for opening the window to become a Board member. “My initial walkthrough of the building brought back memories of my time at Waltham Boys & Girls Club growing up. I have seen the Club evolve tremendously over the years, and there is so much opportunity to continue making this facility the best it can be for staff and members alike.”

A proud dad of three girls, John says the mission of the Waltham Boys & Girls Club resonates with him on a personal level. “The kids we serve are always at the forefront of my mind when evaluating capital projects for the building. Seeing all of the activities taking place under this one roof reminds me every day why I want to make this facility a better place. Expanding and improving the building has such a positive impact on the kids’ experience at the Club, and we continue to strive and find ways to fund and construct new projects”

When John is not giving his time and talent to the Waltham Boys & Girls Club, he holds the position of Principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH), where he investigates, repairs, rehabilitates, and analyzes existing structures, as well as designs new structures. “John’s expertise and guidance has been an invaluable asset to the Club,” said Executive Director Erica Young. “He is resourceful, savvy, and provides sound judgement and coordination when it comes to prioritizing projects for the maintenance of our nearly 70-year old building; I really don’t know what we would do without him.”

“We’ve done quite a few projects since I joined the Board,” recalls John. “The renovation of the Auditorium was probably one of my favorite projects to date – and it was the largest one in recent years. Rockland Trust rose to the challenge and demonstrated amazing generosity in funding that project. To be able to renovate that space with my team at SGH and see it become a haven for our members, is something I am very proud of.”  

When asked what he most looks forward to in his role as Chair of the Facilities Committee, John says, “improving our facility for staff and kids alike is what drives me. I look forward to working with our facilities committee, my fellow Board members, leadership, and staff of the Waltham Boys & Girls Club to take on new challenging projects to continue the mission and vision of the Club.

Learn more about why John enjoys volunteering for the Waltham Boys & Girls Club below! 

What have you learned from volunteering at the Waltham Boys & Girls Club?
I’ve learned that the work of a strong Board, Executive Director, and dedicated staff has a tremendous positive impact on the community and youth we serve.  As our Board and staff continue to grow and develop, we know that the Club will always be a place for our members to thrive.   

If you could describe the Waltham Boys & Girls Club in one word, what would it be?
“Kids” – that’s what it’s all about. That’s my motivation every day.

What words of encouragement would you give to Waltham Boys & Girls Club members?
Take advantage of every opportunity that you have available at the Club, volunteer whenever you can, and always give 100% effort.

If you or someone you know would like to volunteer and make a difference at the Waltham Boys & Girls Club, please contact Resource Development Director Erin Donovan at edonovan@walthambgc.org