Updated: Jul 27, 2022
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast is shaping leaders each day, and new Tarpon Springs Club Director, Andrew Nikiforakis is a prime example of this! Nikiforakis is a Tarpon Springs native and Club alum. His knowledge of the unique, rich history and culture of Tarpon Springs spills into the work he completes daily at the Club. He is using leadership and teamwork skills he developed during his time at the Club to lead by example in his new role.
The Club location has been a staple in the community since the 1960’s. Formally utilized by the Rotary Club, the building has been utilized as a Boys & Girls Club location since the mid 1970’s. Boys & Girls Club of Tarpon Springs has undergone many great changes over the last few years. Garnering the support of local businesses and officials, the Club is nearly unrecognizable in its new form. Murals by a local artist and donated external lighting brighten the area, making it appear even more warm, safe, and inviting to all that pass by.
Nikiforakis recalls his time at the Club as a child and how it shaped his future goals, eventually leading him into nonprofit work. He has worked professionally in the nonprofit space for the last five years. “When I look back on my time at the Club as a child, I remember how safe and fun the environment felt,” he says. While the Clubs’ main focus will always be to provide a safe and fun atmosphere to kids who need us most, Clubs now provide a more structured learning environment, leading students to accel in multiple areas of their lives.
“The Clubs focused heavily on being a safe, fun space for kids and was a place I looked forward to spending my days.”
The close-knit community of Tarpon Springs provides a special opportunity for students to connect with one another and develop long-lasting friendships. “As a very shy kid, the Club really helped me break out of my shell,” states Nikiforakis. “So many words shared with me at the Club influenced my life today.”
As previous Tarpon Springs Club Director, Mark Sofia passes the torch, Nikiforakis acknowledges the next steps in contributing to the legacy of this long-standing Club location. “The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast have welcomed me with open arms. I like to view myself as a steward of an environment that will be here long after me,” states Nikiforakis. “For as long as I can remember, this location has been a staple in our community, and I am working to keep it up to par for generations to come.”