From Brian Lott, senior coordinator, marketing & customer communications for Tampa Electric Company:
For Kevin Sturgill, the YMCA is about much more than exercise – it’s about helping young people stay safe and at-risk students find a path to successful futures.
Sturgill, director of Business Computing Services with Information Technology at Tampa Electric, was among the winners of the YMCA’s Branch Volunteer of the Year award for 2012. He received the honor at the YMCA’s 2013 Community Impact Dinner a few weeks back.
“Kevin literally is helping to save lives,” said Michael Brown, senior vice president of the Bob Gilbertson Central City YMCA at 110 E. Palm Avenue near Seminole Heights, citing Sturgill’s heavy involvement in the YMCA’s Teen Achievers program and programs that teach children water safety, wellness and how to pursue careers in technology. Sturgill not only donates his own time to helping students in one of the poorest areas of Tampa, but he also recruits fellow members of his IT team to join him.
Sturgill, chairman of the advisory board of the Central City YMCA, said he was proud to have opportunities through the YMCA to help at-risk students succeed in school and life.
“A lot of kids don’t know what they’re capable of,” Sturgill said. “But giving them the tools to do well in school and by showing them we believe in them, we can create high achievers – students with higher attendance who want to succeed in school and who can compete with their peers at other schools after starting out sometimes two and three grade levels behind.”
Since 2009, the Teen Achievers program has helped more than 225 at-risk high school students improve their test scores, attendance and prospects for the future. Sturgill also has recruited his fellow team members from Tampa Electric to participate in the YMCA’s Technology Tuesdays program, planned to start in May, in which students will develop computer skills and learn about careers in technology.
“Kevin is passionate about inspiring students and he gets other people from the department to help him,” said Karen Mincey, vice president of Information Technology & Telecommunications, and chief information officer at Tampa Electric. “Who knows what child out there could grow up to become a TECO team member someday. With the skills Kevin is helping teach students at the YMCA, there are more possibilities out there for them and for us as a company – and for the community as a whole.”
Previous YMCA coverage:
Homeless Teen Inspires as Head of YMCA Teen Achievers