When asked to talk a little bit about herself, Helicia Thomas replied, “I believe I can do all things through Christ Who Strengthens Me,” and based on her track record, she is absolutely right.
Her journey began at the age of fourteen (14) when she began working to equip youth in her community. She had a vision to offer programs to meet “all the needs of a person.” In 2001 that vision matured into a reality when Thomas was among the first people hired at the GNJ Family Life Center (GNJ) by Bishop James M. Rogers Sr., CEO, to manage a federally funded, non-for profit community outreach organization in North Las Vegas.
A Las Vegas native, Mrs. Thomas goes beyond the walls of GNJ to lend a helping hand to the community. She is the morning radio disc jockey (Sista Charity) on KCEP Power 88.1 in Las Vegas and has spoken at various events across the world, including the World Baptist Convention in Glasgow, Scotland.
Mrs. Thomas has been involved in the business of helping people for over 30 years. Prior to GNJ Family Life Center, Mrs. Thomas worked as an Addiction Treatment Counselor at the CCA Women’s Correctional Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. During her three-year tenure at the correctional facility, Thomas was a mentor to more than 85 women who were working to overcome different substance addictions. Before working at the correctional facility, Thomas worked for the State of Nevada as a Professional Teaching Parent for seven years, assisting children with court ordered intervention.
In 2005, Mrs. Thomas was awarded the prestigious “Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things” award by the National Action Network for her community involvement and numerous accomplishments.
In 2006, Mrs. Thomas earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services Management.
She is currently the Chief Operations Officer; in 2009, she launched GNJ Nevada (Green New Jobs for Nevada) to ensure youth and adult residents in Southern Nevada had equal access to employment opportunities that offered sustainable and prevailing wages.
Mrs. Thomas is happily married and the proud mother of three daughters. In addition, she is also in the process of writing a self-help book.
Why did Helicia Thomas select her on-air name, “Sista Charity”?
She selected her on-air name based on the actions of two unselfish women who were very instrumental in her spiritual and personal development. Her grandmother Lovey Sayles, and aunt MaryEtta Sayles Clinton, demonstrated their love for her uncondictionally and as a result she became a loving person. She began to love and care about others. Her new personality resulted in the name Sista Charity. Sista Charity is a tribute to her grandmother’s and aunt’s daily undying sacrifices and love they demonstrated towards her.
She has always loved gospel music. When she was sixteen-years-old, she sang in a youth gospel choir called the “The Children of the Redeemed” at Greater New Jerusalem MBC in Las Vegas. She loved listening to the radio especially on Sundays.
One day as fate would have it; she was in the presence of the General Manager for KCEP, Sherman Rutledge Jr. It was at that time that she expressed her desire to become a on-air gospel personality and asked if he would provide her an opportunity to be trained to work for the radio station. In October 1998, she began her training as a gospel on-air DJ during the 3:00am shift.