Entrepreneur and former civic leader, John Fitzgerald, wants to tackle urban poverty. He says his own experiences growing up in South Boston have shown how it is possible to inspire others and provide opportunity.
In 2014, John expanded his involvement with the Boys & Girls Club of South Boston. As a director and alumni for the organization, he has worked consistently over the years to provide children in the community with access to opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have at home. In this environment, all the kids, regardless of their background, have equal opportunities and access to the Club’s resources.
The 42,800-square-foot South Boston Club was built in 1940 and hadn’t seen a real renovation since that time. Josh Kraft, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, announced at the group’s 2013 St. Patrick’s Day luncheon an aggressive $10 million renovation plan. This fund raising goal was critical to deliver new arts and music space, a rehabbed kitchen, updates to the HVAC systems, and to additions to make the club more ADA compliant. While there wasn’t a clear path to achieving the goal, Kraft knew it was possible. To join him in this endeavor, he tapped Fitzgerald to help drive local fundraising.
Why John Fitzgerald
As one of six children growing up in South Boston, John understands the importance of community. He was a “Club Kid” and credits the organization for giving him the early experiences necessary to go on and be successful. With a master’s in public administration and a graduate from Harvard Business School’s AMP-98 Program, John held a series of senior management positions in governmental organizations. The goal being to create good public policy and programs that benefited everyone with lasting change. In 1998, John, along with Jack Harrington, founded Atlantic Associates an IT staffing and workforce solutions agency in Boston, MA. With deep routes to the local businesses, Atlantic provides important income opportunities. Building communities, financial opportunities, and education for children are three imperatives that reflect John’s own commitment to improving lives.
As a longtime advocate for the Boys & Girls Club, Fitzgerald has made substantial personal contributions through volunteerism and financial commitments. In fact in 2014, the tide changed for the Boys and Girls Club of South Boston and their fund raising goal. With John’s support, the Club was able to reach its goal with over $1 million raised.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs have the ability to create lasting change in their communities, empowering young people to reach their full potential,” said Fitzgerald. “The solution to urban poverty starts with the community and its children. If we want to change the current trajectory – when need to do more.”