I have had the pleasure of what I call “walking in the shadows” of my twin brother. This, for me, has always been an honor.
For most of our youth and college years, we were local Colorado athlete standouts, college student athletes and now we’re both executive leaders.
I am thrilled that I am now interviewing him one-on-one, as he continues his accomplishments to make our world better. Watching him clear 7 feet, 3 inches as a collegiate high jumper — among many other things — was amazing. But seeing his impact on youth has been more than impressive — it’s been inspiring.
I sat down with Colorado Springs native Maurice Henson, my twin brother, to chat about his impact and decision to pour his excellence into youth development. A Colorado state champion in the triple jump and high jump (Doherty High School alumni) and national collegiate athlete (Fort Hays State University), Henson has taken his dedication to excellence and given it back to our most vulnerable youth for more than a decade. And he isn’t stopping anytime soon.
He’s working with The Boys and Girls Club as the director of operations, and he says his work is geared toward supporting kids.
“Our clubs are geared in instrumentally supporting our young people and pushing them forward through academic success, character and citizenship, and our healthy lifestyle programming,” he tells me. “We also want to make sure they are exposed to the importance of impacting their community.
Henson says by the time our youth age out of programs, they are well-rounded individuals geared for success.
“We pour into our youth daily to make sure we elevate their journey for great things,” he said. “We do this by ensuring youth are in a safe, positive environment, that is full of fun. An environment that is full of opportunities and expectations, supportive relationships and recognition.”
What is your philosophy on leadership?
I have been privileged throughout my time working with Boys & Girls Clubs to have benefited from some great mentors who modeled great leadership. One mentor is Melanie Bravo, the former CEO of The Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County. She shared with me a principle from The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner: “Leadership is the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for a shared aspiration.” And once I was able to let that sink in, I was able to adapt this principle to my leadership practices. James Sullivan III has been a great mentor and leader serving as the president and CEO for The Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region. He has taught and modeled for me how to see the opportunities within any circumstance or situation in order to be able thrive.
What caused you to stay with The Boys & Girls Club movement for more than a decade?
For me, my journey has always been in the lane of youth development. My father, Sam Flowers, was a couch for more than 30 years in our community in District 11 and I have always been connected to coaching, mentoring and giving back to the community. I am a product of our local E.A. Tutt Boys & Girls Club and being an alumnus of the clubs and our local community centers like Deerfield hills, Meadows Park and the Hillside Community Center, I have been privileged to build capacity into our youth. I graduated college and soon after started working for The Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County as the teen coordinator. Getting to see youth graduate high school and go on to post-secondary education or enter the work field equipped to succeed has been a great reward along my journey. At the end of the day, our youth will be the ripples we see come back to our community and if we can be a part of making their lives successful it is worth it and so much more.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pikes Peak Region has served the community since 1888 – 133 years. Our organization is also the oldest club west of the Mississippi River and the eighth oldest club of more than 4,300 worldwide. It is a privilege and honor to add to this great legacy.