Meet Our Staff

Nicole RIce

Executive Director

Nicole is a lifelong resident of Rutland County, Vermont. She is a graduate of Castleton University with a B.A in Developmental Psychology. She also has a graduate certificate from UMass Amherst with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysist. 
Nicole has 15 years of experience working with youth and supporting staff in Rutland County. Her prior experience includes school based mental health supervisor, special education teacher and grant coordinator. When not at work Nicole enjoys her time volunteering in her community, watching her two young children play sports and making many memories with her family and friends. 
She believes strongly in empowering both staff and youth to reach their greatest potential. She is passionate about the need for high quality, engaging afterschool activities for all children and is excited to continuously work on this with the Boys and Girls Club of Rutland County. 

Malik Hines

Director Of Operations

Malik is from South Burlington, Vermont. He is a Graduate of Castleton University with a B.S. in Physical Education with a concentration in Health and Physical Activity Promotion. He now lives in Rutland with his two dogs Max & Ruby.

Malik has been working with a boys and girls club organization for the past 6 years. He loves working with kids and helping those who need us most, to reach their full potential and be successful. Malik loves the outdoors and playing sports as well as blasting music, he believes that’s when kids show their true selves.

Iris Hudson

Director Of Finance

Iris is from South Royalton, Vermont. She attended Castleton University. She has worked with the Boys and Girls Club for 3 years as a program staff. 


Iris loves making the kids feel welcomed and making a positive impact in the kids’ lives. Iris loves spending her free time outside skiing, hiking, and playing with her dog Snooki.


emma Hudson

Unit Director, Rutland City

Emma Hudson is the Unit Director at the Rutland site. She graduated from Castleton University with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Special Education. She now lives in Bomoseen, Vermont. 

Emma loves building positive, supportive relationships in order to help the children flourish into their most authentic self. 


Zach Belden 

Unit Director,  Rutland Town

Zachary Belden is the Unit Director at the Rutland Town site. He is a soon to be graduate from Vermont State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He now lives in Fair Haven, Vermont.

Zachary loves to use positive reinforcement to create a happy and healthy learning environment for kids. He also enjoys the outdoors and going on road trips.  


Ryleigh Coloutti

Unit Director,  Castleton

Ryleigh is from Castleton, Vermont. She is currently a senior at Castleton University graduating with a B.S in Sports Management. She is continuing her education at Castleton to get her Master’s in Business Administration and lives in Bomoseen, Vermont.
In Ryleigh’s free time, she enjoys working out with the powerlifting team that she participates in with her sister. She also enjoys spending time with her family, her dog Ruger, and her cat Miller. Ryleigh loves working with younger athletes in her free time to help develop basketball skills. She also likes to create a positive and happy environment for all kids that she works with. 

Emily Whitaker

Area Director, Fair Haven Grade school & Benson Village school

Emily is from Fair Haven, Vermont. She is a soon to be graduate of SUNY Adirondack with a degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology. She is now building her home in Whitehall, New York with her husband and 3 daughters.

          Emily has been teaching and caring for children for 24 years. Her experience ranges from a daycare owner, working within licensed daycare programs, and assisting students with significant needs with the public school system. She enjoys working with children and developing a program that meets the needs and passions of its members. Emily loves art and being creative, baking, gardening, and being outdoors.

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Lauren Arruda

Project Director/Unit Director, Castleton/Orwell

Lauren Arruda is the Project Director of our 21 Century sites at Orwell Village School & Castleton Elementary school & our unit Director at our Orwell Location. 

She graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in English, with a special concentration in Writing, Rhetoric and Communication from the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth. 

Her hobbies include spending time with her family, reading a good book, or playing video games with her friends online. 

Her time with the Boys and Girls Club has motivated her to become a positive influence on the youth of today. She says, “If I can help even just one child grow, then that’s enough for me”.


Unit Director, Poultney Elementary