BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – When Della Pitts was nine years old, she moved with her family from their native Bahamas to Miami, Florida. By the time Pitts finished sixth grade, she was six feet tall and ashamed of how she stood above her peers — until a mentor encouraged her to embrace her height and all that came with it.
“She taught me to turn my height into an advantage, and I became a student-athlete,” Pitts said. “I earned a basketball scholarship to Bethune-Cookman College.”
Pitts learned a lot from that experience, like how to rally a team to reach a goal.
She often thinks about her time as a college basketball player as she manages Regions Bank branches in Miami’s Overtown and Edison communities. In her 12 years with Regions, Pitts has built successful branch teams while also building self-esteem in local teen girls.
Regions Bank today announced that Pitts is the May 2017 recipient of the Regions Bank Better Life Award. The Better Life Award is the top honor given to a Regions associate for outstanding dedication and job performance, as well as exemplary involvement and commitment to the community.
In addition to the recognition, Regions donates $1,000 in the name of the recipient to a nonprofit organization of the winner’s choice. Pitts chose Girl Power, a nonprofit organization started by the World Literacy Crusade of Florida. Girl Power promotes positive behavior, enhances social skills and improves academic performance in at-risk girls, ages 11-17. Pitts is a Girl Power mentor.
“These girls are in the program because they did not make the right decisions. I help them see that there are steps to correct it; they don’t have to go down that path,” Pitts said. “I tell them, ‘If you want a better future for yourself, you can start planning now.’”
Pitts coaches Girl Power participants in financial responsibility, resumé building, proper dress and speech, leadership and confidence – skills she has worked to master.
“I didn’t want to be tall, but my mentor helped me turn what I did not like into the thing that built my future,” Pitts said. “Now, I wear heels. You won’t see me in flats, because I have embraced who I am.
“It’s important for me to show these young ladies that it doesn’t matter where you come from. If you think positively, you can change your life.”
A video about Pitts and her work in the community is available on the Regions Financial YouTube channel.
About The Better Life Award
The Better Life Award is presented monthly to a Regions associate who lives the company’s mission to make life better for customers, associates and the communities Regions serves, and who is an example of the company’s values:
- Put People First
- Do What Is Right
- Focus On Your Customer
- Reach Higher
- Enjoy Life
Regions associates are nominated for the award by their managers and peers. Regions Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Grayson Hall honors recipients at the company’s headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, at a meeting broadcast to offices throughout the communities Regions serves. In addition to the recognition, associates who earn the Better Life Award receive an additional week of vacation, a crystal award, and a $1,000 donation is made in their name to the nonprofit organization of their choice.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $125 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, mortgage and insurance products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,500 banking offices and 1,900 ATMs. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.