Program Services Manager Tis Gaston has been working at Boys and Girls Country for 41 years! When she started, the organization was known as Boys Country. She says, “In 1976, I was a student at Sam Houston State University seeking an internship to fulfill a course requirement for graduation. My professor said, ‘Here’s a program, Boys Country, never heard of it; it’s in Hockley. Never heard of that either, but they are asking for an intern so go check it out.’ I did and little did I know that internship would turn into my life’s work!”
While many see their employment as just a job, Tis says it’s more of a lifestyle when you work in a 24-hour residential care program. “I remember years ago doing such a variety of things, including helping kids gather eggs when we had the chicken coop; driving Ms. Rose, the cook, home to Waller every evening; picking up the kids who stayed after school for athletics; completing paperwork for the school lunch program; and many, many late night emergency room runs!” exclaims Tis.
“Since I’ve worked here for so long,” she says, “I know many of the kids who used to live here. I keep in touch with several of them, and I love to hear how well they are doing as adults, in a career or raising their family. No matter how long ago someone might have lived here, many still see this place as their ‘home base.’ I get requests all the time from former students for documents, photographs or keepsakes they collected while in school. I even get requests for recipes for dishes they remember as Boys and Girls Country standards.”
Boys and Girls Country is a special place where kids’ lives are being changed. “Spend any length of time here,” says Tis, “and you will see amazing things from kids, from the boy who never played a sport make his first touchdown to seeing kids progress from special education classes to honor students and graduating from college.”
We have many long-time staff members who have dedicated years of their lives to our children. We are especially grateful for Tis. Her many years of service to the Boys and Girls Country kids is invaluable! If you’d like to support us, click here for more information and here to donate! Also, be sure to follow all of our social media sites for daily updates.