It was such a pleasure meeting with one of the most inspirational men in our community, Will Armstead. In honor of Father’s Day this month, we’d like to introduce someone who’s not only a father himself but also a leader and role model to the children of our community.
Will Armstead is the CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, located in Fort Pierce. Originally born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, we were blessed to get such an inspirational figure to bring his passion and loyalty here to the kids of our county. Prior to working here, Will served sixteen years in the Army. In addition, he was quite the businessman. Between serving in the military and his experience working for large corporate companies, the mix of learned discipline with a business mind made for a great background to enter this field. He decided to follow his passion for helping those in need, along with providing a future for our very own children.
The almost 30-year organization, Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County is the leading youth development agency on the Treasure Coast. They work with kids anywhere from 6-18 years old and provide them with after-school care and summer and outreach opportunities. They offer programs ranging from financial literacy, workforce readiness, heathy living, Passport to Manhood, and SMART Girls, all designed to teach kids how to better their lifestyles by staying healthy, learning new skills, and getting involved.
Will plays such an important role in the lives of these kids. He was a board member for some time before he officially became part of the team. After a few years on the board, he started as the interim CEO where he was able to really see behind the scenes instead of only looking in from the outside as a board member. He started realizing the dedication, loyalty, passion, sweat, and hard work that went into the everyday lives of being a staff member here. Will says that he started observing and said to himself, “Wow, these people work hard, and they work with a purpose”. The team has a vision of following 3 things; live a healthy lifestyle, build character and citizenship, and be on track for graduation. He started realizing how this wasn’t just something that is said or written to showcase a ‘vision’ but how it’s embedded into the team to truly abide by. Will was presented the offer to come on board officially, and he happily accepted. It has now been eight years that he has been sitting in the chair of CEO for Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County. Currently, he has nearly 200 staff members on his team, and something that really got to me was when he said, “200 staff members on my team, and I haven’t found one that doesn’t have true passion or go above and beyond for these kids.”
Will is such a kind person with a big heart and it’s easy to see from just one quick conversation with him. He truly cares about his team, the kids, and their own personal growth and success. Something unique to Boys & Girls Clubs in St. Lucie County is how they work with local companies who are willing to help these kids learn and grow in their careers. They partner with some local companies to provide entry level opportunities to shadow business leaders to help jumpstart their career. Some incredible partners to assist in this program are companies such as Bank of America, City of Fort Pierce, City of PSL, The Mets, A&G Concrete Pools, GL Homes and Southern Eagle Distributing.
On top of the family Will has created for himself through his career, he is also a husband to his wonderful and supportive wife, Rachel, and father to their ten kids! Will and Rachel have seven of their own children and adopted three. Once their seven children were grown, they wanted to do something to continue helping children in need. In 2018, they fostered three children – two of whom are brothers – and ultimately adopted all three! Will says how lucky he is to have a wife that shares the same passion and values as he does to allow this to happen for their family. “It’s not about being smart or being the best, it’s about who you are as a person, and that’s the legacy I want to leave.” Will, along with the team he’s put together, gives the children of our community such bright futures, and it’s a blessing to be able to be a part of it. Interested in volunteering, donating, or getting involved? Feel free to check out their website at https://bgcofslc.org/
"It’s not about being smart or being the best, it’s about who you are as a person, and that’s the legacy I want to leave."