Lethara Millner is the Center Director of the YWCA Child Development Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. She has served in that role for the last 12 years. She celebrated her 25th Anniversary with the YWCA in August of 2021. She aspires to see the childcare program expand to other areas of the community to serve more underprivileged families. Her dream is to have a brand-new state-of-the-art facility for the site located in West Palm Beach.
Lethara graduated with a bachelor's degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. She has studied at Palm Beach State College, where she received her College Credit Certificate in Childcare Center Management and her College Credit Certificate in Pre-school. She has held a Florida Childcare and Education Program Advanced Level Director Credential issued by the Florida Department of Children and Families Childcare Services since 2010. She has also received substantial informal training by attending regional and national Head Start and Child Care Conferences on childcare and leadership.
Since serving as the Director, Lethara has led the center through 3 successful NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Re-accreditations. NAEYC is a national accreditation that ensures that early childhood programs exemplify excellence and is recognized as performing a vital role in society. Under the leadership of Lethara, the program has maintained compliance with all funders, including Lutheran Services of Florida, Head Start, The Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County’s School Readiness and VPK Programs, Children’s Services Council, Strong Minds, and Childcare Food Program. According to the Department of Education’s VPK Readiness Scores, the children leaving the program meet school readiness criteria.
Lethara is a family-oriented person who enjoys spending time with her two adult daughters. She dotes on her grandson, who she spends every weekend with. She enjoys her newfound hobby of gardening and home projects. She loves attending church services, and she also loves to read.
Why do you work for the YWCA Palm Beach?
I got involved with the YWCA as a client. My two daughters, who are now in their early thirties, were students at the YWCA Child Development Center when they were 3 and 4 years old. I started volunteering at the school and attending the monthly parent meetings. This experience changed the trajectory of my life. I knew that I was meant to work with children and families. I started with the agency 25 years ago as the Social Services Coordinator, a position that gave me so much satisfaction. I was able to assist families in becoming more stable and providing a better quality of life for their families. I was promoted to Center Director, which I also enjoy because I am ensuring that young children, which are our most vulnerable, have a safe and loving environment to come to every day, where they can grow, play, and learn. It gives me great pleasure to go to work to see their smiling faces. All children have great potential, and I have high expectations for all of them. I am honored to be a part of the YWCA of Palm Beach County, Inc. we have the BEST Team ever.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To my younger self, know that life is short. Love your loved ones as much as possible. Always see the good in people and don’t sweat the small stuff. Do something that you enjoy because if something does not fulfill your charge, find your passion in life.
What advice would you give to a young girl?
Girls are great leaders. They should always know their worth. Always look to friends who value you for you. It’s okay to walk away from people and things that smother your desire for excellence. Be a part of a sisterhood of girls that love you unconditionally and maintain sister relationships for life. Never give up on your dreams. Have a plan for your life.
Why do you think giving back is important?
Giving makes you a better person. If everyone gave freely, the world would be a better place. The only reason that I would like to be rich is so that I can give away a lot of money to those in need. We live in a society where people have billions of dollars, more money than they could ever spend. Then there are people who don’t have food and shelter. If everyone were givers, there wouldn’t be hunger and homelessness. It is also important to give of your time. Giving back to your community helps you understand so much about life on a larger scale, outside of your walls. It also gives you a sense of purpose and self-fulfillment.