ABN Member Spotlight: YWCA's Kathy Mack

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For Kathy Mack, her work at the YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center is more than just a job; it is an act of love.

As director of the Phyllis Wheatley Center, she spends countless hours ensuring that the Center is well equipped to meet the needs of those it serves.

“I always say there’s no other way to spell love than T-I-M-E. It takes a lot of time and resources and treasures and talents to show the community love,” she said.

And the community has been well-loved under her leadership. She celebrated her one-year anniversary at the Phyllis Wheatley Center on Dec. 19. Founded in 1963, the Phyllis Wheatley Center is a true community center offering after-school and summer programs for kids, Y-Teens for high school students, senior networks, and other events.

Before becoming director at the Phyllis Wheatley Center, Kathy was the Director of Business Operations at the downtown Knoxville branch of YWCA. After a successful year leading the organization’s business operations, she accepted a position at the Phyllis Wheatley Center. In her new role, she has helped develop innovative and creative programming for at-risk kids to prepare them for high school and beyond. She recently introduced the “Readers are Leaders” summer reading campaign.

However, she says the most fulfilling part isn’t the programming, but the people. “We are able to provide an environment that gives hope. We’ll plant the seed in kids to dream bigger, even if someone else has to water it and help it grow.”

The mission of the YWCA is “to eliminate racism and empower women.” But Kathy says they are looking far beyond that. “We are on a mission. We know that if you can empower an individual, then a family, and then a community that we could change an entire region. Its not a sprint it’s a marathon, and we may never see the change but it’s coming.”

To learn more about the Phyllis Wheatley Center and the YWCA visit their website at: https://www.ywcaknox.com.

384 Madi Mayfield is a junior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Public Relations.