NASHUA – Girls Inc. of New Hampshire hired Ryan Gauthier as sports director last fall – he has since served as a positive male role model for many of the girls the nonprofit organization serves.
This is especially true for those girls who attend regularly because many simply have no other male figure in their lives they can admire. Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Indeglia said Gauthier is very kind, patient and genuine.
“We feel this is very important, for the girls to have a positive male role model, as many do not, and that’s what Ryan has been,” Indeglia said.
Because this is anall-girl organization, she said some people believe they do not hire men, which is not the case. Gauthier came to Girls Inc. in August, and has since brought a lot of energy and ideas for activities for girls. Indeglia said he is responsible for the entire gym and the various activities occurring across the court, including dancing, basketball drills, other sports and other fun activities that keep the girls moving, as Indelgia puts it. She said Gauthier is at the facility five or six days per week, and is in charge of gym rentals in the evenings and on the weekends.
“Our gym, previous to the renovations that we went through two years ago, was always very busy every night,” Indeglia said. “After the renovations, we closed it for a year.”
She said when Gauthier came to work with them, they aimed to get various groups to once again rent the space, and have since been able to do so.
“We’ve been really happy that since Ryan arrived, the gym has been filled almost nightly, which we need to make our budget,” Indelgia said.
He has been able to generate significant revenue for the organization by filling the gym with these rentals, but more notably, he is acting as that positive role model for the girls.
“Once the girls got over having a male in the building, it was a lot of excitement over that,” Indelgia said. “He’s been really able to develop those relationships. They look to him for guidance. If they’re having a bad day they’ll seek him out to talk to him. One said that he reminds her of her dad who’s not in her life at the moment.”
Gauthier grew up in Nashua, and was a standout basketball player at both Nashua High School North and Daniel Webster College. He said he was a member of the last graduating class from Daniel Webster College. With a big family in Nashua, he has been around the city his whole life, and is now able to pass his knowledge of basketball on to the girls he works with at Girls Inc.
Additionally, he uses his connections to the Nashua sports community to help fill rentals at the organization, and still finds time to coach several local sports teams. With coaching, gym rentals and his work with the girls, he is now working 40 to 50 hours per week.
“I understand that a lot of them come from hard times. A lot of them aren’t as well off as maybe others might be, but I really try to help them as much as I can,” Gauthier said. “Some of them don’t have a father figure in their life, so I just try to make sure that I’m well grounded, stable and just try to be a positive role model. Especially a guy, since I’m the only guy staff in here.”
Gauthier helps the girls in many ways, whether it involves teaching new drills, helping them with homework or even just showing up and being present each day. He said he was sick for two days at one point. He said all the girls thought he had quit and were really sad he was not around. However, once he was wellhe returned.
“I can tell sometimes that it definitely pays off,” Gauthier said.
Adam Urquhart may be contacted at 594-1206, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.