I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with concentration in management. I worked for 32 years in Corporate America across many disciplines including leadership, management, marketing and communications, sales, accounting, purchasing and pricing/quotations analysis. After 32 years of work in these areas, I made a decision to follow my passion and changed my career path to education. In 2008, I began working at the University of North Carolina Pembroke, Pembroke, NC in the School of Business and the Office of Distance Education. While I was employed at UNCP, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in education. I worked full-time during the day and attended night school and achieved my Master of Arts in Education in Professional School Counseling in 2015.
In August 2018, I was privileged to join the staff of Communities In Schools of Robeson County. This has proven to be the most fulfilling, rewarding and passionate decision of my career. I have been fortunate and blessed to work with the students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators, community partners and volunteers at Purnell Swett High School in Pembroke, NC. At Purnell Swett High School we have a diverse population of students. The majority of our students are American Indian at 83%, Black/African American 3%, Asian/Pacific Islander 3%, Hispanic/Latino 3%, and White/Caucasian 3%. We currently have an enrollment of over 1600 students.
We have several programs that we have implemented to help our students in our school. It is extremely rewarding to have the opportunity to work with our local businesses and members of our community, in an effort to help students learn and grow. Our high school students are receiving a valuable education from caring educators and individuals who are assisting them to prepare for their future. We have many services that are helping our students to make the right decisions that they can be proud of. These services include a program on Financial Literacy which are taught by Lumbee Guaranty Bank, First Bank, and UNCP of Pembroke. In addition, we have a program on teenage pregnancy prevention, Making Proud Choices which is provided by the Public Health Department of Robeson County.
We also introduce students’ to two evidence-based programs, Why Try and Girls Circle. The Why Try Program is a strength-based program to help students overcome their challenges and improve in areas of attendance, behavior, and academics. In addition, Why Try focuses on activities that promote resilience. It provides students with strategies that will help them improve their social skills and will better prepare them with decision-making skills. The Girls Circle is a youth-based program for girls from ages 9-18 to identify with female development. The program incorporates relational theory and resiliency practices that will assist them in developing skills to increase their personal strengths and competencies.
Although I’ve held many great positions over the course of my career, it took me 40 years to find a career that I absolutely enjoy so much! My work at CIS and PSHS is my passion! I am able to provide a helping relationship with the students at PSHS and to make a difference in their lives. My students and staff tell me all the time that I can never leave PSHS that I am where I need to be. I totally agree!