In February, the Valley of the Sun YMCA celebrates and honors Black History Month by spotlighting our super talented employees of the Black community. Meet Deontez Wimbley our Director of Teen Programs and Government Outreach.

What brought you to the Valley of the Sun YMCA?

The reason I selected the YMCA to grow my career is because it seems like a really great next step and upward progression of the different skills I have developed in my previous careers. I have a lot of skills around youth development, programming, program development, assessment, as well as program execution. Also, I have skills around finding ways to inspire, educate and uplift young people. I wanted to be able to find an opportunity that allow me to do that with others and support others, so the YMCA offered a perfect position. In this current role I am able to support teen directors throughout the association doing programming to help grow the next generation.

Tell me a fun fact about you.

Fun fact about me… I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and I graduated from a historically Black college in 2015. I have been living in Arizona for as long I have been with the Y, around 5 months.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Every single year I celebrate the Black History Month. Because I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, the home of Martin Luther King, the home and the birthplace of many civil right movements. It is just engrained in me and my blood to participate in Black History Month, to celebrate each and every day in some special way the history of my ancestors and those that strongly believe created the country we are able to prosper from today.

Share with us a favorite quote or saying from the black leaders throughout history that has impacted you!

There is this historian named John Henrik Clarke who said, “History is to the people, what a mother is to a child.” That quote always speaks to me because it lets me know where I am currently has been formed by history. To more deeply understand where I am and to plan where I want to go, I have to really understand the history of where I come from.

Can you share a piece of advice with someone of the black community who is trying to pursue a career?

Your racial identity is an asset. Not to say because you are black or whatever your racial identity may be gives you special advantages or privileges, but it does influence the way in which you navigate the world, and in a way how you understand the world. It helps to create so much of who you are. I would tell anyone to not discard any part of their identity, particularly their racial identity especially within the American context.

Deontez Wimbley Inspires Us

We love that Deontez Wimbley helps us celebrate Black History Month every year. She loves helping her community. Deontez Wimbley is only one of our amazing employees that work in our organization. We hope Deontez Wimbley’s story inspires you as much as it inspires us.