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Meet the Agents for Change

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The Agents for Change program welcomed its first cohort in January of 2021. This outstanding group of professionals identified housing access, food insecurity, substance abuse, mental health supports, chronic disease, systemic racism, income disparity, youth engagement, and youth leadership as themes of adaptive challenges they wanted to address. Further, they indicated that they needed support in building and maintaining community partnerships and advisory groups to develop solutions. Each Extension Professional is working on an individual project to apply adaptive and transformative leadership in their community to address these issues.

Meet the 2021-2022 Agents for Change:

Elizabeth Baker is The Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Bertie County. Elizabeth joined Agents for Change, “to see outcomes to improve the well-being of persons within families.”

Ashley Beard is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Lee County. She joined Agents for Change to be, “someone who can lead my county to face the challenges they go through. I think learning some techniques for being an adaptive leader will help me feel a bit more established in this role.”

Shelina Bonner is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Green County. Shelina joined the program, “To understand what is best for all the citizens of Greene County and to lead them with empathy, while presenting programs to them.”

Ivelisse Colón is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Orange County. Ivelisse chose Agents for Change, “to develop more leadership skills so I can serve the community better and more efficiently.”

Charlie Godfrey is a 4-H Youth Development Agent in Cleveland County. Charlie said he joined this program because, “I have seen that the challenges our communities face are ever changing and complex. I want to learn more about how to adapt and evolve while addressing community challenges.”

Heather Kelejian is an Agriculture – Therapeutic Horticulture Agent in New Hanover County. When asked why she was interested in Agents for Change, Heather responded, “I see large problems that affect our community but currently I don’t know the best way to tackle them. I think this program will help me become more productive in my community work.”

Morgan King is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in New Hanover County. Morgan told us she chose Agents for Change because, “learning to create win-win solutions is on the top of my list. This will cultivate an environment of cooperation and collaboration. Integrating adaptive leadership into my program areas will be easy, and I am eager to take these skills to community coalitions that bring multiple organizations to the table.”

Sydney Knowles is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Sampson County. Sydney joined the program to, “revamp my Extension programming, as well as help me adjust my approach to how I’m serving my community.”

Meghan Lassiter is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Brunswick County. When asked why she was interested in Agents for Change, Meghan wrote, “Communities and the people within a community are constantly changing so I need to know how to adapt my own skills to better suit their needs at the time. I also want to be able to build long-lasting relationships that benefit all parties involved. I want to know how I can encourage and inspire others to participate.”

Marcus McFarland is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Union County. Marcus told us that he joined Agents for Change because, “Union County is taking a bigger step in health, nutrition, food access, and wellness promotion. I would like to be a better leader in tackling the challenges with many of my colleagues and partnering organizations and enrich the lives of Union County residents in the process.”

Rhonda Peters is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Montgomery County. Rhonda joined this program because, “although I try to always focus first on the opportunities and strengths, I recognize the barriers and challenges that continue to persist in our communities. I feel like this program will enhance my skills in order to be a part of real solutions for my community.”

Andrea Sherrill is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Iredell County. Andrea chose Agents for Change because, “This year has been messy, leadership is messy, but even in the midst of the mess, I see what is possible for our community and beyond. I want to learn how to a better bridge between people, ideas, and hope.”

Vincent Webb is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Guilford County. He joined Agents for Change, ” in order to better engage my community partners, lead coalitions that address community issues, and engage other underserved populations.”