Two staff members of the Office of the General Assembly were recently recognized as Adult Achievers by the YMCA of Greater Louisville. DeAmber Clopton, associate director for finance and administration, and Y. Dianna Wright, director for ecumenical relations, were honored last month as the YMCA Black Achievers program held its 44th annual Awards Celebration. The gala celebration honored the 66 high school seniors who have completed the program, as well as one Youth Achiever of the Year and two Adult Achievers of the Year.
The Awards Celebration raises funds to support the YMCA Black Achievers in its work which includes providing scholarship funds for graduating high school students to pursue further education. Louisville businesses provide financial sponsorships for the celebration and then can name Adult Achievers who are recognized during the ceremony. Adult Achievers are role models engaged in significant work in the community and with youth.
The Office of the General Assembly has sponsored the YMCA Black Achievers program for several years. In addition to DeAmber and Dianna, Cindy Ealy, Wilma Scott and Sherri Hunter have been honored as Adult Achievers.
The Presbyterian commitment to the YMCA Black Achievers program began when Curtis Kearns was the director of the National Ministries Division. Kearns wanted to “demonstrate the PC(USA)’s commitment to Louisville through its support of efforts to help young people.” Ann Kearns, an early childhood education specialist, was among those recognized as an Adult Achiever during this time. The Office of the General Assembly has continued this commitment.
Through YMCA Black Achievers, youth gain a sense of self, raise their academic standards, build character, develop cultural competence skills, gain exposure to diverse career opportunities, engage in community service opportunities, and receive hands-on service learning and field experiences. DeVonne Sorel, Senior Director for Youth Development at Chestnut Street Family YMCA, explains that “Black Achievers serves young people in grades K-8 in the youth achievers’ portion of the program. Young people in grades 9-12 participate in career cohorts that include education-based mentoring to help them reach their fullest potential.”
“With gratitude for their service and witness, we congratulate Dianna and DeAmber, and the previous PC(USA) Adult Achievers, for this well-deserved recognition,” said the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA).