Wise Hope promotes new director

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, January 19, 2019

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Janice Watkins

Janice Watkins. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Wise Hope Shelter and Crisis Center is welcoming a new executive director.

On Monday, the Wise Hope Board of Directors announced the selection of Janice Watkins as Wise Hope’s new executive director, effective Feb. 1. Watkins is assuming the role following the retirement of Pat Slayton at the end of January.

Watkins said she’s learned several lessons in her time working with Slayton and is honored to receive the opportunity to move forward in the leadership role.

“Watching my coworkers work with our clients and seeing what they do and the people that they serve, and watching them work from being a victim to survivor, I knew I was where I needed to be,” Watkins said. “Watching people grow from being broken and in crisis and seeing them blossom through counseling and seeking help, I knew I needed to continue help these families.”

Watkins is a resident of Decatur and graduate of Texas Woman’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies. She began working with Wise Hope as a practicum student in August 2015 and joined the organization full time in May 2016 as primary prevention specialist. She has also served as volunteer coordinator for the past year.

In her position as primary prevention specialist, Watkins worked with school districts to present healthy relationship curriculum to students from elementary through high school. Watkins has worked alongside the organization’s senior leadership and with key stakeholders to provide continuity for Wise Hope’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Programs during the leadership transition.

Wise Hope’s Outreach and Administrative Office is at 608 N. Business 287 in Decatur. The 24-hour hotline can be reached at 940-626-4855. All contacts are confidential.

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