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Second Cohort called to be “ better than the best”

The second cohort of Baptist Children’s Homes University (BCHU) graduated September 13 at Mills Home in Thomasville. BCHU is a leadership and talent management program covering core areas related to the overall ministry of Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH).

Presenting the Commencement Address, BCH president/CEO Michael C. Blackwell said, “We are known for our ‘culture of excellence’. The knowledge you have gained by participating in BCHU is part of our continual pursuit of that excellence. Together, we strive to be better than the best in caring for children and families.” BCHU class members are:

Carol Bostian, Case Manager for Blanton Cottage at Broyhill Home.

Bostian has served in her current role at BCH since January 1, 2014. She resides in Canton with her daughter and loves reading and working in her yard. When asked what being a part of BCHU has meant to her, Carol said: “It has given me an opportunity to learn new things that I have applied to both my personal and professional life. Most importantly, it has refocused my faith first and foremost.”

Rose Bryant, Director of Family Work at Kennedy Home.

Bryant has served in two roles since coming to BCH on April 17, 2007. She began serving as a case manager and then advanced to her current position. Rose resides in Kinston and enjoys cooking and spending time with her family. When asked what being a part of BCHU has meant to her, Rose said: “Being a BCHU participant has meant connecting, learning and growing. I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know other staff members from around the state. It’s been a privilege.”

Elizabeth “Rae” Francis, Case Manager at Mills Home.

Francis has served at BCH since January 2015. She lives in High Point and is entering her final year of graduate school at UNC-Charlotte and will earn her master’s degree in social work in May 2020. When asked what being a part of BCHU has meant to her, Rae said:“Being a part of BCHU has provided the wonderful opportunity to learn more about BCH and develop an even greater passion for the ministry. I am honored to have been able to participate and hope to utilize the experience by continuing to contribute to this ministry.”

Robert “Bob” McCleary, Director of Residential Services/Foster Care Supervisor at Broyhill Home.

McCleary began at BCH on March 1, 2006 as a case manager and then rose to his leadership role. Bob resides in Waynesville and loves fly fishing, hiking and disc golf. When asked what being a part of BCHU has meant to him, Bob said: “I have enjoyed learning about the history of the agency and how we have adapted to help families and children while never moving away from being Christ-centered.”

Jason Sullivan, Education Supervisor of Wilderness Camping.

Sullivan has served with BCH since June 9, 2009. He began his BCH career as a chief at Cameron Boys Camp. He was then promoted to group work supervisor and later education supervisor. Jason once dove with Great White Sharks in Africa and tries to travel internationally at least once a year. He lives in Cameron. When asked what being a part of BCHU has meant to him, Jason said: “Participating in BCHU has helped me understand the nonprofit world better. I’m thankful that BCH has invested in me and believes in me.”

Wendy Weatherman, Manager, BCH Program Development and Compliance.

Weatherman has served at BCH since August 1, 2007. She began at BCH as Coordinator for Program Development before becoming Manager of Program Development and Compliance. In her free time, Wendy enjoys making crafts and getting involved with creative projects. When asked what being a part of BCHU has meant to her, Wendy said: “It has been an honor to be a part of BCHU and serve alongside the great people in this class. Meeting more people throughout the agency has meant so much to me.”

“We look for you to make a big impact,” BCH’s chief operating officer Keith Henry told the graduates. “You are BCH’s gold standard and, today, you are more prepared to serve, presenting yourselves as living sacrifices to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Article Written by Jim Edminson, Editor

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