Carl Blacke Honored for Fifteen Years

In the Boys Home of Virginia dining hall, Executive Director Donnie Wheatley presented Carl Blacke with a certificate honoring him for fifteen years of employment at Boys Home. Mr. Wheatley praised him for having a willingness to do whatever he has been asked to do and the dining hall rang with applause for this soft-spoken man.

Originally from Glasgow, Virginia, Mr. Blacke holds a B.A. in Health and Physical Education with minors in Business and Education. While he was employed at the Natural Bridge Juvenile Detention Center, Mr. Blacke and a cousin would always spend one week of their vacation time leading a basketball camp at West Virginia University. While driving home to Virginia at the end of this particular week, Mr. Blacke decided to drive up the Boys Home lane and learn more about Boys Home. After 19 years at the correctional center, Mr. Blacke accepted an offer to be a houseparent in the Wheatley Center. He was most impressed that the residents chose to live at Boys Home and felt it was that one difference that made the work much easier here than in his previous job. Within a short time, he became the campus manager, a role he filled for years. At this time, he is again a houseparent at the Wheatley Center, the cottage where new residents become familiar with Boys Home expectations and routines. New residents also learn tennis from Mr. Blacke. He is happy to teach them the fundamentals of the game and he continues to play one to two times a week when he is off duty.

When asked about his greatest challenge as a staff member, Mr. Blacke explains that it is probably when he sees bullying taking place. However, his biggest reward is “when they’re 25 and you felt like you didn’t scratch the surface with them when they were here—and they come back to campus and tell you what you meant to them.”

Reflecting on 15 years of service at Boys Home, Mr. Blacke comments, “You’ve got to enjoy what you do. Lots of times, this job doesn’t seem like work to me. It is very rewarding.”

Thank you, Mr. Blacke, for your dedication to Boys Home and the difference you have made in the lives of so many young men.

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