Wichita Falls woman celebrates 25 years at Boys & Girls Clubs, prepares for new role

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Many women make our community what it is, and one in particular has been pouring into the lives of young children for more than 20 years.

Tori Smith is described by her friends as fierce, loyal, and dedicated, with a strong commitment to bettering lives.

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She gets the opportunity to better lives every day at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wichita Falls, a career that started in 1998 as just a college summer job.

"It just became something that I just wanted to do for the rest of my life," Smith said.

Although her now 25-year career has led her to the Central, Rosewood, and Southwest campuses, her focus has remained the same.

"Being able to help the kids, you know, kids need a lot of things; we think that just because they have a mother or father that they don't need things," Smith explained. "But they still do, and we can reach all types of kids throughout the community and just give them somebody to talk to, somebody to lean on and just be there for them."

The next step in her career will allow her to do even more for the youth. Smith was recently promoted to the director of programs for Boys and Girls Clubs of Wichita Falls, a promotion that those around her say is well deserved.

"I think she's an amazing person, and nobody deserves this more than she does," Southwest Boys and Girls Club Interim Director Stacie Odonley said. "Everything that she does, she just teaches us, and we keep moving forward."

Smith expressed her gratitude for everyone's well-wishes for her and expressed surprise that she meant so much to people.

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"I didn't know I was that valuable to people. It was just a blessing to hear all that and see all the people commenting," Smith said. "I'm going to try and do something different with the Boys and Girls Clubs and also try to help, promote, and pull people in," Smith said.

Smith will celebrate 26 years in May and says she hopes to establish more partnerships between businesses in our community and the Boys and Girls Clubs, as well as think of exciting things for the soon-to-come East Side club, which is set to open at the end of 2024.

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