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  • LA was one of the greatest things in my development as a leader and a new person in the Community. It challenged me about what I had assumed about myself and why I needed the others that were in this class with me! The number of times I have called on my classmates since my May graduation is too many to recall. EVERY one in that room I now consider leaders that will attack the issues that must be addressed!

    • Kevin Hils
    • Zoo Director, Chehaw Wild Animal Park and LA '12
  • Leadership Albany is among the most comprehensive community leadership training programs available from anywhere I have worked and lived. The curriculum provides a thorough education about community government, industry, services, business, and education. Program class members are a foundation of professional networking that fosters relationships throughout the community."

    • R.D. Harter, Director of Public Information
    • Dougherty County School System and LA '09
  • "Leadership Albany empowers relationships, networking and learning beyond the "typical" leadership courses. I was probably one of the few people that was "familiar" with each of subject days; but there was not one day that I did not walk away with greater understanding. This program provides a pathway to connect deeper in the community and provides fundamental skills that are transferable to any environment or any locale."

    • Jawahn Ware, County Clerk
    • Dougherty County Board of Commissioners and LA '14

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 | Published on 8/11/2016
 Marvin Laster
Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany


As CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany, Marvin Laster has witnessed the transformative power of adults interacting with, mentoring, and providing positive support systems for youth.


“It is an unbelievable experience to watch how the actions of committed adults can inspire young people to perform better in school, build healthy relationships, and make wiser choices that can totally change the trajectory of their lives,” says the Albany native. He calls himself a “Mill Boy” because he grew up in East Albany “behind the mill” aka the Coats & Clark Factory. Marvin loves his hometown and the famous people and products it has produced. He often tells people Albany, Georgia is the center of the universe, he says.


“I mean, think about it… if you drink beer, use toilet paper, heat wraps, like m&ms, candy canes, or  need a military tank… chances are it came from Albany!”


As passionate as he is about Albany, he’s even more so about making a difference in the lives of young people. He believes every child deserves a place to go where they can go, grow, and thrive. His dream is to realize an ‘ecosystem of youth development’ in Albany that helps ensure every child has a safe, positive place where they are nurtured and provided the support and resources to realize their full potential.


Why return to Albany? That’s an easy question for Marvin to answer.


“I came home to be solution-driven with hopes of bringing forth change among those who may have given up on their future,” he says, adding that he is not disillusioned. “I know that one person alone is incapable of curing all the challenges afflicting Albany’s youth… I came home to join a team of dedicated professionals who are committed to making a difference in the lives of young people… to be a part of a community committed to providing hope and opportunity to young people in my beloved hometown.”


“This,” he says, “is why I came home.”