Blessed with the “gift of gab” as she calls it, the passion and energy radiating off Chastity Berry-Everett is contagious. An Evansville native, she has built her career in the YMCA program. The senior community outreach director of after school programs has worked with the organization since 2011, holding numerous positions during her tenure.
After many years working at YMCAs in Indianapolis and South Bend, Berry-Everett returned to her hometown more than a year ago to work with the same after-school programs she grew up in. Her journey with the Y has come full circle as she now is the director of the DIAMONDS program, which she was a part of as a child. Established for school-age girls to promote healthy choices and relationships, DIAMONDS helps them form career goals and increase self-esteem. The program is one of many that Berry-Everett oversees in her positions.
Wearing a necklace gifted to her at high school graduation with the word “diamonds” engraved on it, she says the program has greatly influenced her life.
“I was so excited to be a part of the YMCA again because this organization gave so much to me as a young girl,” she says.
Berry-Everett joined DIAMONDS when she was in sixth grade, and credits Karen Ragland, the director of the program at that time, for helping instill into her the four core values of the Y: honesty, responsibility, care, and respect.
“Ms. Ragland became like a mother figure to me,” says Berry-Everett. “It made sense to come home and be the modern-day Ms. Ragland and work with the program that made me into who I am today.”
Outside of her work for DIAMONDS, Berry-Everett continues her passion of working with children by leading other after-school programming with the YMCA. She also works with the Caldwell Community Outreach Center, which always offers programming for children in the area.