by John Bulanda
Carolina Men Guest Author
Darnell Maye, Teen Director at the Greenville Club of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Pitt County, strives everyday to leave a legacy by giving back to his community.
Maye, who holds degrees in sociology and child psychology, also volunteers for a food kitchen program called Project Anna. He participates actively with his Free Mason brothers and founded an organization called The Legacy Foundation, which helps build the community by offering help to people coming out of prison.
Lyrics from a Mahalia Jackson song provide the inspiration for his life, Maye says. “If I can help somebody, as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain.”
Maye adopts a casual and friendly style with the many youngsters he works with, and in particular, loves to tell stories and engage them in conversations about life’s issues.
He also uses basketball as a way to blend students of diverse cultural backgrounds together during after-school play. Several of the students participate in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) organization he manages.
“I get to relive my life through the kids. I also like the culture and diversity from playing people of all walks of life,” Maye said, adding interacting with youngster off and on court also keeps him fresh and current with ideas and trends.
Growing up, Maye never played basketball but was involved in many other sports including soccer and martial arts, both of which he continued with while serving in the Navy. The Navy gave him a sense of cultural appreciation and intense love for competition. That same love for competition that grew in the Navy gets instilled in the children on the court.
He is also a family man, raising his own daughter and two sons. “I’ve taught them well. They know what they should and shouldn’t do. Now its my time to help these kids.”