Bettye G. Fortson came to Las Vegas for the first time from Forest, MS as a high school student. She attended Las Vegas High School. She returned to MS and completed high school then she went to college at Tougaloo College where she majored in English Language Arts and Literature and minored in Library Science and Nursing. While in school she worked as a practical nurse in Jackson, MS.
In 1959, she returned to Las Vegas and worked as a nurse at Southern Memorial Hospital, now University Medical Center. In 1970 she returned to college attending CSN and UNLV majoring in Elementary Special Education. After leaving the nursing profession she began teaching with CCSD as a Special Education Teacher.
Mrs. Fortson opened her home to many, but especially to children; no matter who or they were, where they were from. It was nothing for her to ‘adopt’ young families, young men, and women, boys, and girls coming to the valley without family to become apart of her extended family.
Mrs. Fortson has worked in the church since she was a child and continued that work when she relocated to Las Vegas. She is a member of Second Baptist Church where she has served in numerous ministries to include Mission President, Youth Advisor/Worker, and Outreach Director.
Mrs. Fortson has been an active member of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee since 1990. In addition to the committee she volunteers on numerous boards; West Prep School Grandparent; West Prep Parent Advisory Committee. But of all she does, she gets the greatest enjoyment from helping those in the community who are in need/those who are less fortunate. She will buy toys for children; food for families and clothes as well. Even more than that, she loves working behind the scenes to make sure a plan comes together wellno matter what.
She has served on state, local, and community boards to include Just Say No to Drugs, founded by Nancy Regan; UNLV Gear Up Committee; State and Local PTA Boards; Pride of the West District Association Youth Director; NV/CA Interstate Congress of Christian Education Youth Director; Lifetime member of National Council of Negro Women.
Mrs. Fortson has received many honors and accolades, including the Key to Charles I. West Preparatory School from Dr. Michael Barton. She was married to the late Robert Fortson for 34 years until his passing in 1998. She’s the mother of 3 daughters, 3 Foster daughters, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. She loves and supports her many extended family members and enjoys the time she spends with them all.
The Nevada Broadcasters Association
The Urban Chamber of Commerce
The Nevada Public Radio Association
The Metro Multi-Cultural Advisory Council (MMAC) for The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
A Personal Professional Note: Building and expanding his partnerships with various community organizations throughout the Las Vegas Valley are a matter of continuing purpose and immense pride.