CIS Board Member Spotlight: Joetta
Joetta, former Olympic track and field champion, has been a member of the Communities in Schools of Eastern PA Board of Directors since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Her passion for education started from a young age. Joetta’s father was a former principal of Eastside High School in Patterson, NJ. Dr. Joe Clark, consistently emphasized the importance of education on a child’s overall success. The Clark family’s multi-generational dedication to education sparked her interest in CIS of Eastern PA after moving to the Lehigh Valley.
Due to her father's involvement with academia and his emphasis on the importance of accessible, quality education, Joetta repeatedly found herself getting involved with promoting and supporting youth academics. Combining her experience as a 4-time Olympian with her passion for education, Joetta founded the Joetta Clark Diggs' Sports Foundation in 2002. With a goal to promote involvement with physical activities for students in grades K-12, the Joetta Clark Diggs’ Sports Foundation is committed to educating students about good health and positive work ethics associated with sports participation. Additionally, prior to CIS of Eastern PA, Joetta participated in other education-based boards, such as the Raritan Valley Community College Board of Directors.
"I enjoy being involved with organizations that have a mission to ensure that they are helping students succeed," said Joetta. "Communities in Schools of Eastern PA is a transitional piece between students and their home life. I find that to be very important in a student's academic and personal success, which is what inspired me to join the board and get involved with what Communities in Schools [of Eastern PA] is doing."
On the board, Joetta serves as part of the Planning Committee and is currently assisting on the CIS of Eastern PA 40th Anniversary Event Committee. Joetta's most exciting moment serving on the Board of Directors was her keynote presentation at the first Ready, Set, Graduate! in-person graduation ceremony in two years following the Covid-19 pandemic.
"It was inspiring to see the enthusiasm from the graduating students and their families. I felt honored to be a part of their success, especially in that difficult transitional year back to in-person schooling following Covid-19," said Joetta. "It was different from a normal graduation, but we didn't give up on the kids despite the circumstances at the time, and it was so important for them to be acknowledged for their hard work and effort in such a special way."
In her free time, Joetta enjoys traveling, cooking, volunteering for kids-based programs, and spending time with her family and friends.