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Meet the YouthForce team.

The YouthForce team works together at the Innovation Hub to craft new and exciting workforce development programs to keep students engaged and on track for success.

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VP of Workforce Initiatives

Sterling Gardner

Sterling Gardner is a native Athenian and a former Boys and Girls Club member and Youth of the Year. Sterling joined the Boys and Girls Club of Athens as a full-time staff member in 1992, serving as Director of the Jack R. Wells Boys and Girls Club. He later served 20 years as Director of Resource Development before transitioning into the role of Vice President of Workforce Development Programs in 2022. Under his leadership, the YouthForce Innovation Hub was created to train and assist teens and disengaged young adults to secure meaningful employment. 

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Director of Programming

Lemuel "Life" LaRoche

Lemuel "Life" LaRoche, MSW, has over 20 years of experience in youth and community development. In addition to YouthForce, Life is also an instructor at the UGA School of Social Work and is the Founder and Executive Director Chess & Community, a local nonprofit focused on youth engagement through critical thinking, problem solving, and conflict resolution. With two decades of experience, LaRoche brings a fresh innovative approach to his work.


Director of Delinquency Prevention Initiative

Tyrique Dunn

Tyrique is an Athens native who received his bachelor's degree from Winston Salem State University in 2021 and his Masters from the University of Kansas in 2023. Tyrique has been connected to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens since 2003 as a member, junior staff, camp counselor, and enrichment staff. He has a profound love for his community and the kids who call this community home. He strives to motivate, mentor, and guide the next generation.


Program Coordinator

Fajr Delane

DeLane attributes her esteemed promising global leadership skills to both her domestic and international travel as an American youth where she learned early the value of good character, humility and cultural exchange. DeLane intends to utilize her increased knowledge in business development to further her skills in building creative programming and social and community advocacy platforms.

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