Supporters of the Merced County Boys & Girls Club have been looking for just the right person to energize the organization, and lead it into a new era, especially after a rough couple of years with the pandemic and all.
By By Jonathan Whitaker
Well, they may have just found the perfect person.
See Lee is the new CEO of the well-known youth center located at the corner of 15th and M streets.
She was raised in Merced. She has spent many years working with disenfranchised youth and families in the region. And she’s a proud mother of three children.
She is also the first Hmong / Asian American woman to ever hold the CEO role at the local Boys & Girls Club, and quite possibly the national organization’s first in the Central Valley, or even the state.
“Twenty years ago the founders of the Boys & Girls Club envisioned a youth center that would bring our community together to support our boys and girls,” Lee told the Times. “Today I am excited and humbled for the opportunity to build on their work and continue their momentum.”
She certainly has some credentials to do so.
Lee graduated from Merced College with an AA in University Studies.
She earned a BA in Political Science from California State University of Stanislaus. And then she received her MBA from California State University of Fresno.
She is a licensed Health and Life Agent, and most recently, she has operated a marketing and outreach consulting business for over five years serving businesses in the Central Valley. See was previously employed with Equus Workforce Solutions as an Operations and Program Manager where she provided management to a multi-million, federally funded workforce training and development program.
As a Career Educator for the Empower and Youth Opportunity Program, Lee worked with industry leaders to provide employment training to opportunity-youth between the ages of 16-21.
She also worked for Valley Community School in various capacities in implementing gang and teen pregnancy intervention and prevention programs serving the most challenged students in Merced County. As the Hub Coordinator for Building Healthy Communities (BHC), she worked with elected officials, stakeholders, agencies, and families to create a more supportive, healthy, and safe environment for children to learn and thrive through grant funding and policy & systems change. In working with businesses across the region, she worked to increase economic vitality in Merced County through expansion of passenger rail services and provide access to state funded resources for small businesses.
See is an alumni for American Leadership Forum (ALF) Great Valley Chapter. She was selected to serve on the Police Advisory Committee (PAC) to review the Merced Police Department policies and procedures and was appointed by the Merced City Council to serve as a Commissioner for the Independent Districting Advisory Committee (IDAC) to draw the first set of city election districts for Merced.
See has served on the Multicultural Promises Board of Directors, which among many goals, try to deter young women from joining gangs or seek to provide interventions for those who are gang members. She was the past President of Southeast Asian-American Professional Association, an organization that has awarded over $80,000 in scholarships to Southeast Asian students and sought to create a network for businesses, working professionals, and students across the Central Valley region.
See was a former member of Merced Golden Lions, Associate Member of the Vietnam Veterans, Board Member for United Way of Merced County and Healthy House, and served as an intern for former Congressman Dennis Cardoza. She was the Co-Founder of a grassroots organization called Hmong Movement Organizing for the Next Generation (HMONG), which strives to enrich the lives of Hmong by promoting self-sufficiency through education, community collaboration, civic engagement and cultural preservation in order to provide advanced opportunities for the next generation. Subsequently, she has worked with other Hmong community leaders to implement numerous programs including dual language pilot programs for young children preparing for their first entrance into school and coordinated the first Hmong Women and Hmong Law Enforcement conferences in Merced.
The Merced County Boys & Girls Club continues to have affordable, year-round programming that aims to “build great futures.” This is a place where all local kids have the opportunity to gain additional academic support, experience character and leadership development, grow socioemotional skills, learn about culture and the arts, and of course, enjoy sports and games.
The club membership fee for young people is only $20 a year. Find out more online at: bgcmerced.org. The Boys & Girls Club is located at 615 W. 15th Street in downtown Merced. Call 209-722-9922.