Warren Watts found direction in the military; he is a bank-branch manager
KERNERSVILLE Warren Watts'
life story is an inspirational example of how one young man overcame bad choices and found success in adulthood. Watts graduated from East Forsyth High School in 1977, although 1975 should have been his graduation date.He was assigned to East Forsyth as part of the school system's desegregation plan, and he "mightily rebelled," Watts said.
"I had a difficult time.I got into trouble, didn't have a father figure, quit school and even ended up on probation," Watts
Unsure what to do with his
visited a Marine recruiter who took one look at Watts' high-school transcript and sent him back to school.Watts
was two credits shy of having enough credits to graduate.He
finished high school and returned to the recruiter.
"It was one of the best things that could happen to me," Watts
spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, traveling all over the world.He
was stationed in Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune.During his military service, he earned his college degree through Campbell University.
After retiring in 1997, Watts
could not rest while drawing his
had been involved with electrical repair in the Marines and considered becoming an electrician.
went into retail sales by first working at a Revco Drug Store and then with Circuit City
"I sold televisions and loved it.What man doesn't like to watch television?"Watts
But it was an issue at his
bank that led Watts
went to the Bank of America
with a complaint about his
account and left with a job as a teller.
It turned out that banking was Watts' niche, mainly because of his
love and success with customer service. In six years, he has worked up to branch-operations manager at Lexington State Bank on Mountain Street.He first came to Kernersville with Center Carolina Bank, now SunTrust and went to work with LSB when CCB changed ownership.
"A college degree is what you do with it," Watts
Shannon Parker, a co-worker, said that Watts
has strong ethics.
said that his
job puts him in a situation to help with the cultural change that is taking place in Kernersville.
"There is cultural change.It's all around.I've worked with a lot of diversity," Watts
said."The military helped with that.You can have a dollar or a million dollars, and you'll get the same respect from me." Watts
, 49, has many blessings to count, including his
son and daughter.His 26-year-old son, Warren II, is a second lieutenant working in logistics management for the Marines.He
plans to use his
military service to pay for law school.His
daughter, Amanda, 18, is studying criminal justice at Forsyth Technical Community College
and wants to be a police officer.
"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree," Watts