By: Jackie Hardy, NDG Contributing Writer
“I volunteer in my community because I have a passion for service and a need to help others,” Duncanville resident, Nettye Medlock shares in regards to what motivates her to serve.
Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. (TLOD) is a national organization consisting of six areas throughout the United States with one of their chapters being in Dallas. The mission of TLOD is to enhance and enrich the lives of youth and adults through national and community base programs and projects.
Some of the organization’s national projects and programs entail promotion of literacy; Top Teens of America (TTA), a component of TLOD that mentors to teens in the areas of academics, community service, and character/leadership development; Community outreach initiatives for Senior Citizens; and Women empowerment programs to help women and teens improve their economic status and overall quality of life.
Medlock shared with North Dallas Gazette her thoughts on receiving the organization’s highest honor, the national Top Lady of the Year award where she was honored at the Dallas Chapter’s Founder’s Day Luncheon in April of 2013.
The Top Ladies of Distinction national honor is given to a member within the TLOD organization who demonstrates extraordinary service within their respective local area as well as on a national level.
According to Medlock, the selection process involves first place winners from each of the six geographical areas competing for the national title. She also advises the nominee must receive an endorsement at the local chapter level and documentation reflecting the past five years of service presented in a scrapbook/portfolio whereas the scrapbook is judged in accordance to the national guidelines.
Harnell Williams, TLOD President, Dallas Chapter, shared her sentiments on Medlock winning the Top Lady of the Year national honor within the organization after winning the award both within her local chapter then in her specific geographic Area 1, which according to Williams encompasses four states.
“Nettye Medlock just goes above and beyond; she is everywhere she needs to be when community service is going on everywhere from dealing with senior citizens to having to beautify recreation areas to helping ladies fine tune their interviewing skills for jobs.”
Medlock credits her mother Eva Bell and grandmother Lizze Johnson as positive influences who taught her the importance of giving back.
“I admired and modeled my life after my mother and grandmother. They have been great examples of nurturing and caring for others and giving back to the community. They spent years volunteering in nursing homes, working with youth groups, etc.,” she explains.
Medlock is a graduate of Texas Southern University and University of North Texas, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Psychology and Master of Education in Counseling and Guidance. She is also a Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Life Member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW).
Prior to retiring in 2002 as a high school counselor, Medlock spent over 33 years mentoring and working with youth within the Duncanville, Houston and Wilmer Hutchins ISD. She continues to work with youth (women) through her several affiliations.
“I am presently mentoring young women through my involvement with the programs of NCNW, TLOD, and Delta Sigma Theta and by recruiting them into these organizations so they too can have the experience of learning the importance of giving back to the community,” she states.
Medlock is honored to have accomplished the national Top Lady of the Year award and affirms her commitment to serving her community is a way of life that has continued well past the pomp and circumstance of getting such an award.
“The National Top Lady of the Year is indeed an honor, but I feel it has not changed who I am and how I serve,” she adds. “I have and will always continue to serve others with compassion and the love for it is a privilege as well as a responsibility to serve.”
“She has a propensity for dealing with the underserved and just being places where she needs to be,” adds Williams. She’s just a great community servant and great woman of God and that says a lot of a person because you can see their faith, their raising and their upbringing in the ways that they treat other people; she’s just a good lady”.
A legacy that started with her grandmother and mother continues through Medlock as she now has her own child, a daughter, Tamiko Medlock Warren and three grandsons, Kyland, Kyndal and Kameron.
“I want my life to have meaning and purpose through my service of helping others and that I made a difference in the life of those I was blessed to help,” comments Medlock.