As Executive Director of BGC Cape Breton, Chester has been working hard to make sure the Whitney Pier Club continues to run smoothly throughout the pandemic.
“My phone never stops ringing. But I love my job and not a lot of people can say that.”
Born and raised in Whitney Pier, Chester attended the United Missions youth club where Jonathan Skeete, Nova Scotia’s first African Nova Scotian RCMP officer, was his youth worker—an experience that inspired 40+ years of working with young people. Throughout that time, Chester has been an inspiration for others, including being the first African Nova Scotian hired by the Cape Breton Regional School Board and one of the first African Nova Scotians to volunteer with Children’s Aid as a mentor, foster parent, and respite parent.
His mission has continued at BGC Cape Breton over the last 17 years.
“I treat these kids like they’re my own, I’m very protective of them. Our slogan with BGC Canada is opportunity changes everything and that’s what I try to give to these kids here. We’re very proud that we have five or six kids who are on postsecondary scholarships. Education is the key to a better future for a lot of these kids.”
Chester wants to expand his BGC Club so that services can be offered to more kids—the Club currently has a lengthy waitlist of youth waiting to join.
Until then, he plans to keep doing what he and his Club do best—providing opportunities for youth and helping them overcome the barriers they face.
“The best leader is one who helps people so eventually they don’t need him. That is my philosophy as a youth worker.”