In the Winter 2017 edition of the National Afterschool Association’s Afterschool Today magazine, Kevin Gilmore from the Vineyard Community Center in Westerville, Ohio, was recognized as one of the 2017 Next Generation of Afterschool.
Originally from Toledo, Kevin spent much of his youth in Afterschool programs, where he felt the community connection that Afterschool can provide. By 16, he was volunteering in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and working with second and third graders. Kevin moved to Columbus to pursue a career in culinary arts, but still felt the pull toward working with youth. Gilmore says, “I’m called to this.”
And if you talk to Kevin or look at his program, you would agree.
Kevin is the director of the Vineyard Community Center’s LAUNCH program. He has developed a successful, well-respected high school program that draws in teens from the central Ohio area. He has focused his priorities on developing a variety of community partners and creating an ever adapting program based on input from program participants. Kevin has created a place that teens have come to own, and he takes a lot of pride in it. “My students call this program the safest place they know – their words, ” says Gilmore. His program also stresses social emotional competencies and, of course, throws in some food education.