Stevi Price, executive director for the Decatur City Schools Foundation, believes every student deserves a chance to succeed and the future of this community is within these schools.
Price, 37, and her husband, Brandon Price, have two kids, Kennedy, 10, and JR, 8, who attend Leon Sheffield Magnet Elementary.
Stevi Price worked for the Greater Morgan County Builder’s Association for four years before going into freelance marketing for two years.
After that she joined the Decatur City Schools Foundation in 2013 as a Fund Development Assistant. In 2019, Price was promoted to executive director at the foundation.
Question: What is your role with your organization?
Answer: I’m in charge of fundraising, marketing, and management of the Decatur City Schools Foundation, which is a 501c3 organization.
Q: Why did you want to get involved with this organization?
A: I have a strong desire to excel in the career field of marketing and promoting programs that impact today’s youth.
Q: Have you ever been personally impacted by your organization?
A: On a daily basis. I enjoy helping provide our students with the technology and programs that will better prepare them for a successful future.
Q: What is your organization’s mission?
A: The mission of the Decatur City Schools Foundation is to promote and enhance educational excellence for all students in Decatur City Schools.
Q: How does your organization impact the community?
A: We believe that every student deserves a chance to succeed and that the future well-being of our community exists with our schools. Together, with our generous supporters, we have created a strong foundation of support for innovative initiatives within our schools that make a measurable difference.
Q: Are there any people or stories that stand out to you that show the influence of your organization?
A: Yes, with the generous support of Boeing, we funded the Greenpower program a few years ago. This program provides our students the chance to design, build, and race their own go-kart or race car. It’s an incredible hands-on, STEM learning opportunity. Last year we expanded this program down to our fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. In May, we got to watch them race at the old Austin High track. Witnessing West Decatur Elementary celebrate two wins warmed my heart. Everyone’s smiles and enthusiasm is something that I will never forget.
Q: What are the biggest challenges facing your organization?
A: There are three things. One, the constant changing of state standardized testing. These changes disrupt our data tracking and sometimes reduce our chances of accurately measuring the impact of our giving. Two, the language barriers that some of our students face and the pressure to have them proficient in English before they participate in state testing is immense. Three, a lack of parental support. We can provide every opportunity for a child to succeed, but if they lack parental support, it is often difficult for that child to excel in the classroom. I am thankful for other local organizations that help combat this challenge, like YoungLife, the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Alabama, and Decatur Youth Services. Every child deserves an advocate to cheer them on, provide boundaries, and give guidance.
Q: Who (if anyone) instilled in you the importance of giving back to the community?
A: My grandmother, Annette Myers. She was the epitome of grandmotherly love. She was outwardly focused and cared so much about the well-being of others. She made phone calls, took the cakes, gave the kisses, read the books, and gently gave great counsel to my fiery young heart. She only had a high school education, but to me she had so much more. Her actions, love, and dedication to our family changed my life in an astounding way.
Q: How did you wind up in the nonprofit industry?
A: It was a fluke, really. My husband, Brandon, and I moved to Decatur right after we were married. His employer and friend, Wally Terry, got me an interview with the Greater Morgan County Builders Association for their executive director position. I thoroughly enjoyed working for them. The autonomy and leadership growth that they offered me was incredible. I resigned after four years to stay home with my daughter, Kennedy, and pursued freelance marketing. Two years and one more child later, I received a phone call from my friend, Mary Ila Ward, asking me if I would like to interview with the Decatur City Schools Foundation for their development position. I was elated. That was nearly nine years ago, and I haven’t regretted one minute of my time with this foundation. The work that I have the privilege of doing is transformative. We are helping support the children of our community. To me, there is no greater cause.
Q: What is your organization’s annual budget?
A: Our annual budget is $319,210.