JA Alumna Shares the Love--Shares Her Experiences with the Next Generation

This story originally appeared in the Last Vegas SUN newspaper.When times got tough, Stacy Watkins got tougher. She began exemplifying this during her humble childhood. Her parents would make ends meet for her and her dozen siblings and step-siblings but at times they had to go without food or other basic necessities. Most of her siblings got jobs as young teenagers in an effort to support themselves. Stacy's story was shared by JA of Southern Nevada.

"You can grow up in the worst environment, in the worst neighborhood and still make a change," said Stacy. "The role I play with Junior Achievement is about breaking cycles. Junior Achievement gave me a platform to share that message. It has allowed me to have a voice in the most affected communities."

Characterizing her toughness, Stacy is now the senior vice president and regional manager at Nevada State Bank. She manages 15 bank branches and 150 employees. She started volunteering for JA of Southern Nevada in 1998. Stacy teaches kindergarten-12th grades and is in her second year of being chairman of the board for JA of Southern Nevada.

"It's about getting these kids to understand they need to stay in school and make good decisions," said Stacy. "They end up having some real-life 'aha moments.'"

Stacy plans to continue volunteering for JA and also has started a new mission to convince 1,000 women to get mammograms. A married mother of two, Stacy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Stacy's cancer is in remission, but she wants to let other women know how important it is to get regular screenings.

"I'm here for a reason to advocate for and educate people, said Stacy. "I made it through my early years because of strong mentors. If not for them, I can honestly tell you, I wouldn't have made it."

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