Unlike many kids who come to Boys & Girls Clubs, Cuba Gooding Jr. was born into privilege. When he was a kid, his father’s band had a hit song that went all the way to No. 2 on the charts.
Then, while Cuba was in fifth grade, his parents divorced. Cuba, his mother and brother drifted from place to place, living in hotel rooms, cars and a series of apartments. Still, there was one place he was always welcome: the Boys & Girls Club.
By high school, Cuba and his friends had become skilled break dancers. The Club gave them a safe haven to practice, far from the streets, gangs, and the daily struggle of getting by. Club staff helped them believe in themselves, set priorities and grow.
Cuba went on to dance during the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics. Acting success followed, including Boyz n the Hood, A Few Good Men and an Academy Award for Jerry Maguire.
Club Location: Tustin, California
Boys & Girls Clubs National Alumni; For more information, visit BGCA.org