The Boys & Girls Clubs of East Texas (BGCET) believes that every child deserves an opportunity to be great, to have hope, and to reach their full potential. During the school year, BGCET partners with Tyler, Bullard, and Lindale Independent School Districts, becoming an extension of their elementary and middle schools to provide on-campus afterschool programs where children are safe, loved, mentored, and given homework support, tutorial help, nourishing meals, and enrichment activities. The BGCET Center is a safe haven in North Tyler for children in the critical years of ages five through 12, and more than 600 children are served in this facility daily. BGCET strives to build a strong foundation in the lives of children in our community while giving parents and guardians peace of mind knowing their children are being supervised by caring adults.
Deanna Sims serves as the board chair-elect for the BGCET Board of Directors and has worked with the board to recently change its charter to a religious organization which better describes the values on which the organization was founded.
“The BGCET’s avenue of service is primarily through afterschool programs and summer camps, but we are working to expand our reach through volunteer mentoring programs as well,”Mrs. Sims said. “We will be spending the next year inviting our community to invest financially in what we hope will be transformational programs for these children.”
Outside of her service to BGCET, Mrs. Sims serves as the board secretary for the Kyle Lake Foundation. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Tyler, Inc., where she serves as an advisor and is a past president. Mrs. Sims is a Leadership Tyler Class XIV alumna and a member of the Baylor Women’s Council of Tyler. She is a past member of the Tyler Independent School District Parent Teacher Association Board of Directors and the Women’s Symphony League of Tyler.
“The blessings I have received throughout my life have been great motivation for me to serve others,” Mrs. Sims said. “I look for projects that seem to match my gifts and abilities with the needs of our community. I don’t consider volunteerism a job but a joy that will continue to grow. I pray God will keep providing me avenues of service for as long as I live.”
Born in Houston, Texas, Mrs. Sims has resided in Tyler for 38 years. She is a graduate of John Tyler High School and received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University. Mrs. Sims is employed as the assistant vice president for university advancement at The University of Texas at Tyler. She and her husband, Steve, have been married for 32 years and are the parents of two adult daughters.
“Tyler is a generous community and responds readily to those in need. When I served as president of the Junior League of Tyler, Inc. in 2000, I learned that Tyler is known throughout the nation for its generosity. That reputation is one of which we can be very proud,” Mrs. Sims said.