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Top honor awarded to Rockwall County Boys & Girls Club CEO

ROCKWALL COUNTY, TX (August 24, 2014) Misti Potter, President & CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Rockwall County, recently received the highest honor bestowed upon a Boys & Girls Club Professional in the eight state region, during the BGCA Southwest Regional Leadership Conference in San Antonio.

The Jim Wetherington Southwesterner Award is presented in memory of a caring and committed leader who grew up in a Club and devoted 37 years of his entire professional life to making a difference in the lives of kids. Wetherington shaped thousands of young lives for the better. To be eligible for this prestigious award, an individual must measure up to the following criteria:

1. The individual recognized must – by thought, word and deed – exemplify the highest type of professional Boys & Girls Club worker.

2. They must have given 100% plus of him/herself in service to the development of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Southwest Region in areas such as:

(a) Active membership on national and regional committees and conference programs

(b) Demonstrated cooperation with fellow workers in the field in developing and promoting the Boys & Girls Club Movement.

3. The individual must have demonstrated unusual initiative, imagination and creativeness in the interest of the local Boys & Girls Club and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Movement,

(a) Development of and sharing of program ideas, resource development programs and personnel programs.

(b) An awareness of the problems besetting the Movement and a willingness to help solve such problems.

(c) Putting the interest of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Movement above self-interest

Selected by a panel of previous Whetherington recipients and National BGC professionals, Misti was chosen as this year’s recipient. For more than 17 years she has dedicated her career and life to professionally developing others throughout the BGC Movement as well as impacting the disparity gap and leveling the playing field for all kids in regard to equal access to quality, affordable, after-school and summer programs.

“I know the Boys & Girls Club is the one place where all kids have a chance to be who they are without worry or fear of not being accepted, no matter where they come from. I know that a Club meets the academic, physical and emotional needs of youth who walk through our doors and the kids and families who stay with the program through high school have statically proven to outperform their counterparts,” Potter said.

“I emphatically believe in the programs, opportunities and life skills taught and learned at the Club. The simple value of a moral compass, responsibility and the honor that comes with earning accolades and awards are all part of becoming a productive and caring citizen, leader and adult taught the Boys & Girls Club way. There is no greater youth development organization in the country that provides the holistic care for kids, operates 50 out of 52 weeks per year, is facility based, functions with paid employees and proven implementation methods. We know when the bell rings at 3:00p.m., children go home unguided, unsupervised and unsafe. However, when school’s out Clubs are open. While we have done an amazing job for more than 150 years of meeting the needs of over 4 million kids nationally, and thousands of youth the past eight years locally, we are just scratching the surface to serving all young people who need a Club most. That is what drives me to work harder and to never apologize for expecting others to feel the same about helping children and families in our community. Every story of a child living in poverty or going to bed without food, every report of a child being abused and placed in foster care, and every heartbreaking tragedy that results in the needless loss of a young person’s life are the absolute fuel to knowing more needs to be done for the youth living in our own backyard.”

Although she is from the Dallas area, Misti attended college in Alabama and started her career at a small Club in Athens, Alabama. She has since pursued her passion and dreams throughout the Southeast and Southwest Region serving on regional and national committees to include the Professional Advisory Committee to the President of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Jim Clark.  She has served as the CEO of the Rockwall County Organization for the past three years and is also the National President of The Professional Association Board of Directors representing BGC professionals from throughout the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Movement.

“It has been my privilege to be part of the Boys & Girls Club and to make this my life’s work. I am absolutely honored to have been selected for this award and to be considered to have achieved the greatness and impact Jim Wetherington did,” Potter said. “I have been blessed by the caliber of those who surround me from colleagues, local BGC staff and BGC board members. Throughout the years I have learned something new every day; the experiences I take from the Club have taught me how to positively be a servant leader with one goal in mind and that is to make a difference in the life of a child.”

To learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of Rockwall County go to bgcrockwall.com or visit #GreatFutures for more on the national Great Futures Campaign.

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