Best Of 2012

Local Hero
Beverly Clark

Staff Pick

Beverly Clark is a case study in the saying, "Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can." The 64-year-old grandmother is more than a pillar of Charlotte's west side; she is an advocate, a champion and a font of information. And she's making sure the spirit of community is passed on to younger generations in Charlotte. Clark can be seen along the West Boulevard corridor, recruiting teenage boys and girls for the Boy Scouts of America's Venturing program and serving as a mentor-advisor. She also is president of the West Charlotte Neighborhood Association, a volunteer for Clara's House food ministry on Beatties Ford Road and active in her own informal clothing outreach. Clark, who doesn't drive, uses her time on CATS buses watching for new faces who may be struggling. She listens, builds trust and guides people to organizations and services that can help. Though resources were tight growing up in a family of eight brothers and sisters, Clark recalls her mother Mentorie always sending them out with bread or sugar or vegetables for neighbors in need. "When people got air conditioning, they came off the porches. When things got better [financially], we became selfish. But the need is greater now than it's ever been," Clark says.

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