From retired educator to Chatham County commissioner, Dr. Priscilla Thomas has proven herself an effective leader. And when it comes to children, there is no better advocate.
When Dr. Thomas took the Chatham County Commission seat in 1990, she quickly realized the only way to help our community was by reaching out to the youth.
"Everybody was talking about how bad kids are," she said. "I knew there were children doing well and all aren't bad. Perhaps people just didn't know."
She came up with the Summer Bonanza and the Chatham County Youth Commission. Both programs are geared toward helping young people, teaching them about government, and encouraging them to get involved in the community.
"When I first started, I did it out of my own pocket and never regretted one day of having done that," she said.
This year, there are more than 230 students in Summer Bonanza and 40 youth commissioners. Through the years, Dr. Thomas and the groups have traveled all over the country, meeting many our country's leaders.
Teerica Johnson is a graduate of both programs. "Without her being able to expose me to those things, I'd be stuck in one realm," she said.
For years now, young lives have been changing because of her leadership. Van Johnson, director of the Chatham County Youth Commission told us, "I think if we had more Dr. Priscilla Thomases around, the world would be a better place."
That's why Dr. Priscilla Thomas is part of WTOC's Community Spirit.
Questions or comments concerning WTOC Community Spirit should be directed to Dawn Baker, email@example.com.