Summer Club Programs Can Help Lead the Path to Success

Taj Mathews has always been focused on success. He counts his years spent at the Rotary Boys & Girls Club as instrumental in helping him achieve his dreams.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of King County (BGCKC) played a big role in my life throughout school—from the afternoon programming and sports to the volunteering, summer programs, and career direction. It opened doors that I wouldn’t have had direct access to otherwise, specifically in the technology sector.”

BGCKC opened doors that I wouldn’t have had direct access to otherwise.”

Taj, now a Relationship Marketing Manager at Microsoft, first connected with the tech giant through BGCKC; a summer program during his early high school years made a huge impact. The partnership between BGCKC, Microsoft, and the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship involved a weeklong, intensive training focused on learning about technology and entrepreneurship through field trips to local businesses. Program participants toured a fortune cookie factory, competed in a stock picking contest, and took part in a business plan competition that culminated in a pitch fest on the Microsoft campus.

Taj won and the following year was accepted into Microsoft’s internship program. He loved it so much that he asked for an extension on the internship.

The Club is a gathering space where kids can get together and be productive.”

After attending the Naval Academy and then earning an MBA from UW’s Foster School of Business, Taj returned to Microsoft through its graduate internship program and has been happily employed there for the past five years. He continues giving back to the Boys & Girls Clubs that guided him on his way by serving as a Club Advisory Board member of the Joel E. Smilow Clubhouse & Teen Center.

Taj realizes how invaluable the Club was in his own life, and he is dedicated to ensuring kids can continue to pursue their dreams. “The Club is a gathering space where kids can get together and be productive, giving them a community as the city changes and gentrifies.”