Interview with Robert Lewis, Jr.

Countdown to the gala: 8 days!

An interview with Robert Lewis, Jr. about his second home, the East Boston Social Centers

Robert Lewis, Jr., the founder of The Base and the honorary chair at our gala shares what the East Boston Social Centers means to him.

Which programs were you involved in at the EBSC? How long did you attend?

I went to East Boston Camps from the ages 6 to 18. I played in the basketball & hockey program. They had cooking classes and arts & crafts, which I also participated in. I also did the winter camping program as well. So, everything that the Social Centers did, I participated in. I literally lived there. They started doing programs in the Maverick Street housing projects, which I was involved in. All of us kids were there Monday-Saturday all day. I got my first job at the Social Center when I was a freshman in high school; that was my after school job as well. I was the sports coordinator with Johnny Forbes, who was my boss.

What are your favorite memories from the Social Centers?

The first memory I have is the staff. When I look at it now, it's mind-boggling that just two weeks ago I had lunch with [my boss] Johnny Forbes. So Marty Pino and all those guys...they were amazing! Also, how can you ever forget your camp?! Camp was one of the greatest things that has happened in my life: to spend overnight, learn about the woods & the skills was unbelievable! Also, East Boston used to have their sports banquets at the Social Centers and they would also bring professional athletes. We were kids from the projects meeting Derek Sanderson Bobby Orr, Reggie Smith… sport icons in Boston and we had a chance to met them all because they were participating in the banquet.

How did the Social Centers influence your life?

"My whole life revolves around the Social Centers. Jack Forbes reached out to kids like me in the projects and we had a chance. So I would say my career and where I am today all comes from “When all give, all gain". I still have the Forbes and my old councilors in my life. I owe the Social Centers & my mom to the person that I am today.

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