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Nutrition
 

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program 40th Anniversary Awardees

 
Regional Winners
Participant Category

The participant category recognized participants of EFNEP whose nutrition and health improved as a result of participating in EFNEP; who impacted the nutrition and health of his or her family or community; and who EFNEP has helped to rise to life’s challenges.

   

Sylvia Harris | Alabama | Southern Region

Sylvia was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP participant regional award because of her hands-on recipe demonstrations, nutrition information and newfound knowledge shared, and encouragement in teaching others about a healthy diet.  Being a diabetic, she understands how the components of the daily diet, as well as how her food choices, affect her diabetes, weight, and general health.  Through EFNEP, she learned ways to put foods with more nutritive value on the table and identified shopping tips and recipes that allowed her to stretch her food dollars.  Now known throughout her community as the “cooking lady,” Sylvia serves as a role model for others to eat healthier and try new foods.  She teaches classes on nutrition and its value in her church ministry.  In the course of her EFNEP career, Sylvia has transformed the lives of nearly 5,000 limited-resource youth and over 200 limited-resource adults with a proven method that the EFNEP carries.
   

Jeannine Knepper| Pennsylvania | North Eastern Region

Jeannine was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP participant regional award because she stood out from the rest and had a thirst for information for the “why,” “what if,” and “how about.”   A young mom in the EFNEP Super Cupboard Program, Jeannine’s mission is to mentor young welfare moms, helping them to see all the opportunities they have for education and, as always, spreading the word about EFNEP.
   

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Mohammed Musleh| Ohio | North Central Region
Mohammed was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP participant regional award because of his commitment to applying what he learned in EFNEP to his daily life.  Mohammed eagerly attends all EFNEP classes.  His eating patterns, food intake, and physical activity all improved tremendously due to his adopting better eating habits through EFNEP.  With good eating habits he was able to start controlling his diabetes without taking as much medicine as he once did.  The impact of Mohammed adjusting to better eating habits has spread within his household, where drinking more water has taken precedent over drinking sodas.  Mohammed joined EFNEP classes to make a change once and for all because he didn’t want to continue an unhealthy lifestyle that affected his whole family.

   
Champion Category

The champion category recognized individuals who enhanced EFNEP’s public image or helped increase the resources available for EFNEP; and who  helped increase adult and/or youth  participation EFNEP.

   

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Sheila Austin | Texas | Southern Region
Sheila was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP champion regional award for her advocacy of EFNEP, and for assuring strong, effective collaborations with the March of Dimes, and many other agencies in Bexar County.  Sheila became involved with EFNEP in 2004-05 when the Bexar County EFNEP unit entered into a collaborative agreement with the March of Dimes and the San Antonio Metro Health district.  The goal of the “Learn, Eat, and Enjoy” project was to address high rates of preterm and low-birth weight babies with EFNEP providing food demonstrations and nutrition educational materials and information to pregnant women – specifically at-risk pregnant women and teens –- teaching them the importance of prenatal care and nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy; therefore, enriching experiences of low-income pregnant women.  Sheila also serves a key role on the Bexar County EFNEP Advisory Committee.

   

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Cindi Boston | Missouri | North Central Region
Cindi was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP champion regional award for collaborating with state legislators for support and benefits to EFNEP clients, which also included increased funding for EFNEP.  Cindi encouraged EFNEP participation to the center and clients by communicating information about Pregnancy Care Centers via brochures, newsletter, and other literature.  Cindy even hosted nutrition classes for pregnant women.

   

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Fred A. Cholick | Kansas | North Central Region
Fred was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP champion regional award for setting the wheels in motion to increase program funding and expanding the reach and impact of EFNEP.  Due, in part, to Fred’s strong advocacy in advancing EFNEP as a priority request, funding levels requested for 2009 were higher than the reduction requested in the FY2009 President’s budget.

   

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Jeanne Downes | Colorado | Western Region
Jeanne was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP champion regional award for fostering collaboration, involvement, and cooperation from her staff and from the staff at the Kids Café sites, which she helped to form, to work with EFNEP educators.  This collaboration helped to ensure success, full participation, and promote a learning atmosphere for each of the youth EFNEP classes.    Kids Café’ provides a meal program designed especially for children at risk of hunger.  Jeanne’s collaborative efforts helped the program to provide 187,000 meals in metro Denver’s poorest neighborhoods; including young participants, parents, and child care providers of EFNEP. 

   

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Linda Kirk Fox | Washington | Western Region
Linda was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP champion regional award for her state leadership of EFNEP and her role on the EFNEP Task Force.  As State Leader, Linda oversees the funding for EFNEP and assigns state leadership and provides additional state dollars to support the program.  As co-chair of the EFNEP Task Force, Linda was instrumental in advocating increased funding for EFNEP for 4 years in a row.  When the task force concluded its work in 2008, EFNEP funding was at $65,135,272, which represents the highest level of funding EFNEP has received in its 40-year history.

   

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Sandra Gil | New York | North Eastern Region
Sandra was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP champion regional award for her successful efforts in motivating and recruiting Hispanic women who have been hard to reach due to language and cultural barriers, to EFNEP.   Sandra translated the Mentoring Mother curriculum for the surrounding Hispanic population to bring EFNEP classes to this audience.   Her experience led to county legislators granting a bilingual educator to EFNEP for 2 years – the first Cooperative Extension System bilingual educator in Suffolk County.

   
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Cheryl Kobel | Pennsylvania | North Eastern Region

Cheryl was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP champion regional award for her efforts in seeking new and different partnering opportunities for EFNEP.  Some of Cheryl’s successful partnering efforts included providing bus transportation for all the board members to St. Martin Center for a Super Cupboard experience, and securing grants and donations to fund supplies, equipment, food, transportation, and child care and incentives, which allowed educators to focus totally on teaching the EFNEP curriculum.  The unique needs of special groups, such as teen parents, the homeless transitioning from shelters, and parents in the Parent as a Teacher program were met as a result of these innovative partnerships.
   

Sister Marie N. Sullivan | Georgia | Southern Region

Sister Sullivan was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP champion regional award for her voluntary efforts in soliciting vendors to donate incentives to encourage family participation in EFNEP at the Sullivan Center.    Sister Sullivan oversees a nutrition program for hunger prevention with the assistance of volunteers who operate the food pantry on a daily basis.  The Sullivan Center is named in honor of Sister Sullivan for her many years of dedicated service to preventing homelessness and hunger in Atlanta.    The Sullivan Center’s outreach has expanded to include all of Fulton County instead of just the neighborhoods surrounding the center.
 

Paraprofessional Category

The paraprofessional category recognized individuals employed by EFNEP who: showed excellence in innovative program and/or delivery strategies,  reached out to new/nontraditional audiences and/or built collaborative partnerships within and outside of Extension;  had an impact on physical activity, stretching food dollars, or food preparation; continued to grow professionally throughout the time of their employment; and/or  integrated EFNEP concepts into their own lives  and showed passion for the program.

   

Omega Barcenas | Nebraska | North Central Region

Omega was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional regional award for her constant representation of EFNEP and extension at statewide nutrition partnership meetings, and for serving as a role model by providing healthy food and promoting good food safety practices throughout her community.  Omega is always looking for opportunities to improve her English-language skills.  Her goal is to become a registered dietitian

 

 

Janie Garner | Arkansas | Southern Region

Janie was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional regional award for the hard work and dedication she gives to her program.  Janie works and collaborates with other agencies in her county, consistently produces high quality, accurate work, and has served on numerous statewide and regional training teams.   She adjusts her time in order to meet with the clientele, and uses produce that she grows in her own garden for her food demonstrations.  Through Janie’s efforts, EFNEP enrollment in her county is 100 percent, the graduation goal for each program assistant is 75 per year. Through Janie’s collaborative efforts, she enrolled 177 participants and graduated 152 this past year. 
   

Betty Ringo Greear | Wyoming | Western Region

Betty was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional regional award because of her innovative program strategies that help clients to live a healthier life and realize their self-worth; along with the professionalism she brings to the program.  In the Men-In-Crisis Program, some men are broke or addicted to drugs and alcohol.   As a result of Betty’s class, a former member of a biker gang who initially went to class reluctantly became her best student.  He returned to school and completed his degree.   One client and father always ran out of food because of his smoking.  When Betty helped him to see how much money he spent on smoking in a year, he agreed to quit, thus creating more money for the family to have for food.   Betty has learned extensively from in-service training.   During a hunger awareness and program promotional event, Betty was in charge of recipe preparation and coordinated the work of multiple cooks.
   

Sandra Harris | Kentucky | Southern Region

Sandra was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional regional award because of her successful efforts in building collaborative partnerships within and outside of Extension.   Sandra is sought after to provide services at various agencies and organizations in her county and has an outstanding relationship with the school system.  She collaborates with many block grant agencies, which allows her to meet and exceed EFNEP requirements in a more efficient manner by giving her access to participants in group settings.  In partnership with Community Action, Sandra conducted budgeting classes.  The innovation of the program, allowed participants who attended each of the classes to earn “budget bucks,”  where  they were allowed to “spend” on  kitchen items of their choice at the end of the final class.  All participants enrolled in EFNEP and all graduated.
   

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Ruby Nancy | Iowa | North Central Region

Ruby was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional regional award for her successful collaborative efforts and the professionalism she brings to the program.  Ruby collaborates with the Safer Foundation Youth Empowerment Program to provide nutrition education as part of a life skills class for youth who were previously incarcerated.  The kids were taught about label reading, which helped them realize just how little nutrition was available from the snacks they typically chose.  They practiced choosing snacks that represented two or more of the food groups from MyPyramid, and learned about issues such as cross-contamination and the proper way to wash their hands.  A past EFNEP graduate herself, Ruby quickly became an advocate for the program, and began speaking at forums for state legislators and state staff.  Ruby has since earned her master’s degree in Public Administration and completed additional graduate coursework in Adult Learning. She co-wrote a grant for conversational Spanish lessons and completed the lesson series.
   

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Robin Peters | New Hampshire | North Eastern Region

Robin was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional regional award for her innovative program delivery strategies.  With an office in the family resource center, Robin partners with agencies to refer her participants and to get referrals.  She holds some of her classes at the center so the participants can take advantage of other resources there, such as the food pantry.   She involves university students in her programming by providing direct teaching opportunities with adult and youth interventions, and she invites local legislators to her programs to showcase EFNEP.
   

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Bertha Silva | New Mexico | Western Region
Bertha was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional regional award for the direct impact she has made in the lives of youth.  Bertha implemented USDA’s “Eat Smart, Play Hard” curriculum in an area with a poverty level at or below 185 percent of the U.S. government poverty guidelines.  During the 6-week implementation, her EFNEP youth classes competed for bragging rights of becoming healthier – what began as a small idea to motivate students turned into community-wide awareness of the benefits of physical activity.  She has completed the Child and Adult Care Food Program certification so that she can include specific child care nutrition lessons, along with her EFNEP lessons, for child care providers.  Through her work with Engaging Latino Communities in Education, Bertha has built partnerships in the county that benefit EFNEP outreach programs.

   

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Ronda Stiles | Pennsylvania | North Eastern Region

Ronda was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional regional award for her successful collaborative efforts and the professionalism she brings to the program.  Ronda’s collaborative partnerships with the Central Intermediate Unit’s Adult Development programs, New Choices/New Options, and Even Start are tailored with nutrition lessons that meet participants’ needs during pregnancy, and in feeding infants and preschoolers.  EFNEP graduates who are now in the workforce continue to use lessons learned from the curricula to stretch monies.  Hand-washing practices continue to be a part of many families’ routines resulting in fewer reports of colds.  Food preparation skills taught at a women’s shelter influenced participants to not thaw food at room temperature.  Ronda continues to improve her own skills.   She has participated in 18 educational activities, earning over 100 hours.  Some of the classes taken include diversity training, obesity prevention, Transitioning out of Poverty, and Healthy Eating During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding.  Ronda has attended the Nutrition Links Annual Conference, and Strengthening the Food Resource Safety Net Conference.  She also completed Penn State’s Institutional Review Board training, the ServSafe course, and has piloted two new curricula.
   

STATE WINNERS

Paraprofessional Category

These paraprofessionals were recognized at the state level as individuals who: showed excellence in innovative program and/or delivery strategies,  reached out to new/nontraditional audiences and/or built collaborative partnerships within and outside of Extension;  had an impact on physical activity, stretching food dollars, or food preparation; continued to grow professionally throughout the time of their employment; and/or  integrated EFNEP concepts into their own lives  and showed passion for the program.

   

Annabell Anderson | Alabama

Annabell was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award because of the hard work and dedication she brings to her program.  Success of EFNEP for Annabell came when she was able to convince Administrators of the need to have food demonstrations in all classes.  Following the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans many residents fled to Gadsden, AL, where Annabell’s church adopted 20 families.  Although most grateful for the church’s kindness, their major complaint was about the food in Alabama.  Noticing an opportunity for nutrition education, Annabell recruited many of the adults into her EFNEP classes, where she shared various recipes with them.  They were pleased with the classes and are continuing to use many of the recipes offered.  Annabell’s attendance at many training sessions and use of the MyPyramid.gov web site allows her to keep current with nutrition information and to gain ideas for keeping classes updated and interesting.  She has benefited from what she teaches others, having lost 35 lbs herself.
   

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Phyllis Cain | Georgia

Phyllis was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her successful collaborative efforts.  Phyllis partners with other agencies in Fulton County to deliver EFNEP classes and to teach general nutrition.  Among them are The Sullivan Center, a non-profit organization that assists families in need with food and short-term financial assistance; and the Fulton County Drug Courts Program that serves first-time convicted drug offenders, many of whom have children where Phyllis conducts EFNEP classes.  Phyllis stays informed about nutrition topics by attending workshops and seminars and by reading materials about health and nutrition. She attended the 2007 Society for Nutrition Education Conference as one of four EFNEP program assistants selected from Georgia.  Like a sponge, she soaked up all of the information presented.  Phyllis uses EFNEP concepts when planning menus, shopping for groceries, and preparing meals.  Her love for learning and the conference inspired her to consider returning to college to complete her degree. She is a class ambassador for EFNEP.
   

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Connie Castor | Washington
Connie was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her innovative approaches to meeting the needs of special audiences.  Connie is gifted at working with people who have been incarcerated and are transitioning back into local communities.  She understands the needs of her clientele and the challenges of living a healthy life under these circumstances.  Her classes offer sound nutrition education, food preparation, and meal planning strategies.  She tailors the nutrition education programming to meet the needs of the very migratory and unsettled population based on their living circumstances.  Her goal is always to provide skills that enable the participants to find the food sources necessary for a healthy meal.  Connie is committed to learning new and innovative ways to reach new clientele, and to bringing fresh approaches to those she has been serving for many years.  Connie knows and understands how to stretch her food dollars and is an excellent example to her clientele.  She is enthusiastic about what her community has to offer and has turned her enthusiasm and personal knowledge into a dynamic approach to teaching nutrition education to criminal justice clientele.  She has expanded what she does to other criminal justice programs and is well known throughout the community for her work.  She brings a fresh and thoughtful approach to nutrition education that translates directly to better daily living for her clients and those who work with her.

   

Leslie Choate | Oklahoma

Leslie was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her successful collaborative efforts.  Collaborative partnerships include the health department on a Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) Grant, which reaches 8 – 10 year-old low-income youth.  Students enjoy Leslie’s  healthy snack demonstrations and pass on to parents such comments  as “Never lick the spoon when cooking” and “get the cold stuff last.”  Leslie runs daily and practices food balance in food choices.
   

Martina Curry | Illinois

Martina was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her dedication and commitment to EFNEP in and out of classes.  Martina is an advocate for EFNEP.  She advocates for her audience and for her coworkers.  She practices what she teaches.  She makes it a practice to walk to her trainings and meetings and is a tremendous mentor to the other staff.  Martina is an exceptional professional.  Her bilingual capabilities allows her to address multiple audiences and she has been found trustworthy by the community.  With Martina’s help, her community has improved tremendously.  Through a partnership with WIC and Catholic charities, Martina has initiated a cooking school during the summer months.  Over the last five years these cooking schools have grown and are now done every year for 6 weeks in the summer.  Martina’s success stories include testimonials of how much she has inspired people to change their lives.  Her quiet passion is evident in her work and in the response received from all of her sites and by her clients.
   

Norma C. Dorta | Florida

Norma was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for producing an innovative delivery method using technology to provide much-needed information to the students of Hillsborough County.   After recognizing that her students are more into “YouTube,” Norma used this tool as a means to teach sound methods about nutrition education.   Using the concepts of fun and innovation, she retooled her nutrition education teaching techniques to not only talk about the importance of physical education; she developed running relay games that emphasize the food groups, and developed a game from the popular TV show “Deal or No Deal” to get the youth moving. When her family has reunions, Norma is always the one who is requested to prepare the foods, emphasizing portion control and food safety.
   

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Gloria Greiner | Texas
Gloria was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her collaborative partnerships and for demonstrating how EFNEP has changed her own life.  Gloria’s successful collaborative partnerships with WIC and the Better Living for Texans Program, has resulted in an expansion of EFNEP in her counties.  Gloria gives great attention and detail to food demonstrations, tests all recipes, and instructs on ways to use commodity foods.  She has completed her high school diploma, earned an Associate’s Degree in Sociology, and participates in EFNEP staff training.  Gloria was a single parent when she went to work for EFNEP.   As a result of her involvement in EFNEP she has raised four children, sent them to Catholic School, purchased a home, and cared for her elderly father.

   

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Irene Hackworth | Michigan
Irene was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her professionalism and insight into problem solving and project planning in her involvement in community outreach.  Resource management is a key element in all of Irene’s EFNEP lessons.  Her understanding of how saving money on food, while creating healthy economical meals from what’s on hand is unparalleled.  Her sincere and unfailing dedication to helping struggling families goes beyond her job as EFNEP associate extraordinaire.  She is constantly looking for community programs and services with which to connect her clients.  Irene is constantly improving her presentations to promote positive behavior changes.  She plans activities such as bingo and salt/sugar/fat demonstrations to enhance participation.  She addresses her audience directly with name tents, to establish a more personal connection.  All of these small enhancements have helped nutrition practices scores on the behavior checklist for groups increase to 78% improvement in one or more nutrition practices.  Irene has shown exceptional leadership in EFNEP and is an invaluable resource, as well as sincere.  She is a competent mentor for the rest of the EFNEP staff.  She builds good will where ever she goes and is willing to accept new challenges and opportunities where they occur.

   
 

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Ramona Hamilton | Missouri
Ramona was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her role as an EFNEP mentor by incorporating what she teaches into her own life.  Ramona works closely with two alternative school programs where she teaches basic food preparation skills to teens who will soon be on their own.  Ramona also teaches “Break the Fast” where she encourages the use of WIC foods and prepares food for participants to taste.  She encourages families to try new foods or new ways to prepare foods for breakfast.  Ramona is willing to listen to new ideas in curriculum and teaching.  She is willing to try new techniques to reach audiences and relies on some of the “old standbys” that remain effective.  Ramona mentors and encourages new staff members, and received a mentoring award in 2008.  Her peers look to her for encouragement and support.  Ramona was a single mom with three children when she began working with EFNEP, living the life of a “typical” program participant.  She knows how to survive on limited resources and enthusiastically shows others how to do the same.  As a Nutrition Program Assistant, Ramona increased her skills in food preparation, food safety, shopping and budgeting.  Over the years, Ramona has continued to learn new information and incorporate the ideas into her own life.  She believes that she can teach best what she lives.

   

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Mary Jane Hearon | North Carolina
Mary Jane was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her excellence in programming and dedication to the mission and goals of EFNEP.  Mary Jane has been innovative, stepping up and learning new skills for EFNEP special projects, such as the In-Home Breastfeeding Support Program.  This program delivery is a shining example of EFNEP excellence in North Carolina.  Mary Jane is a magician when it comes to stretching a dollar. She is knowledgeable of every strategy and utilizes money-saving strategies in her personal food purchases just as she does when purchasing foods for EFNEP classes.

   

Ese Misiaita | American Samoa
Ese was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her successful collaborations with various government agencies, such as public health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (WIC, food stamps), the U.S. Department of Education, health care clinics, and daycare programs in an effort to promote nutrition education and food demonstration programs.  Ese promotes different aspects of EFNEP through her work with agencies and the community on health activities, to overcome the problems of obesity and overweight, and to live a more healthy lifestyle.  Ese’s dedication to her work strongly reflects the success and impact that EFNEP has made on the low-income and at-risk population of her island country.  She continually updates her subject knowledge through training, workshops, and conferences offered off-island. 

   

Jean Noland | North Dakota

Jean was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her innovative program delivery strategies and the professionalism she brings to the program.  Jean uses game shows such as “Deal or No Deal,” “Tic Tac Toe,” and after school programs such as “Tool Time” to encourage learning.   Appealing lesson titles such as “Hitting a Home Plate,” “D is for Dairy,” “Soup-er Bowl,” and “Extreme Makeover – Steps to a Healthier You” are also used, and Jean dresses in costume to enhance her programs.  Jean has grown professionally by participating in regional and national development opportunities and leadership professional development training, serving as a mentor for newly employed EFNEP nutrition education agents, serving on the Head Start Policy Council, and joining Toastmasters to improve speaking skills.
   

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Flora Popenoe | Ohio
Flora was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her work with non-traditional audiences.   Flora has worked with refugee populations and has translated lessons into Swahili, assisted with teaching English, given recipes in both English and Swahili, and explained the use of American food and how to prepare it.  Flora participates in Navigating for Success, computer classes, and takes classes in diversity planning. She grows a garden, uses produce in meal planning, and is an advocate of good hydration.

   

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Maria Pilar Rosario | New York
Maria was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her successful collaborative partnerships within and outside of extension. Maria accepted the challenge of leading two special EFNEP projects, Project Bridge and Project CHANCE.  She believes that partnering is the key to program success.  Her love for workshops in food preparation hit an all time high when 98 percent of her enrolled participants graduated.  Maria embraces change and translates that into job performance improvement.   Maria has mastered skills in facilitation and has taken full advantage of training opportunities related to subject matter or skill development.

   

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Joann Smith | Louisiana
Joann was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her commitment and dedication to EFNEP.  Having been very successful in establishing a collaborative partnership with the Richland Parish School System, Joann began presenting monthly nutrition education programs to all 5th grade students at Delhi Middle School.  Due to the effectiveness of her programming efforts, the school principal and teachers requested that she continue to serve their students on a monthly basis for the third consecutive school year.  Joann now presents monthly educational programs for approximately 60 middle school students.  She begins with a nutrition lesson and completes with a physical activity.  Joann is a true professional who constantly strives to strengthen her skills as an EFNEP nutrition educator.

   

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Charlene Trujillo | Colorado
Charlene was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her partnership efforts with EFNEP to reach not only the program goals, but also the goals of low-income pregnant women.  Charlene provides the educational intervention portion of a food safety education grant for low-income pregnant women by utilizing the EFNEP model and EFNEP curriculum.  She enjoys the physical activities part of the program, for its value in improving health and decreasing stress.  Charlene is very conscientious and is well respected by the agencies that serve low-income families in her county, which aids in her success with the program and with agency partners.  She is extremely passionate about EFNEP and “sells” the program to everyone she meets.

   

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Lizzie S. Walker | South Carolina
Lizzie was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her innovative program delivery strategies.  Lizzie works with housing authority complexes and after-school programs where she teaches nutrition to the kids.  She incorporates master gardeners to teach about “field-to-plate” and 4-H volunteers to teach sewing skills.  Students must show off their skills and present some form of thank you at their graduation ceremony.  Lizzie teaches using coupons and grocery lists, and she cooks at home to save money.  Two sisters who were participants never had extra money from their low-wage jobs, but after taking the class they were able to plan a Christmas party and serve food from recipes they learned in class. They felt this could have never been done without the EFNEP class.  Lizzie searches for new ways to learn and give back, and is motivated by EFNEP to keep herself healthy and to “practice what I teach.”

   

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Vickie Wasosksi | Virginia
Vickie was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her commitment and dedication to EFNEP.  By reaching out to new/non-traditional audiences, Vickie worked with a Hispanic mother, which led to her reaching other Hispanic families.  She is a member of the Patrick County Extension Council.   Vickie taught the father of a child with spina bifida to cook in such a way that they both lost weight.  Vickie has taken classes at Patrick Henry Community College, learned to use PowerPoint, and is a member of the Patrick County staff, which was recognized statewide as an outstanding unit.  She plants a garden, prepares home canned items, is physically active, and teaches clients the same.

   

Charlotte Wilson | Maine
Charlotte was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for her collaborative partnerships, the impact she has had on participants, and the passion she displays for EFNEP by integrating it into her own life.  Charlotte has fostered numerous community relationships that have allowed her to serve EFNEP most effectively.  Examples include a food pantry where she is invited to prepare healthy, low-cost dishes using foods from the pantry shelves.  She demonstrates how to create main dishes, sides and even desserts from basic ingredients.  Another example is her work with the Family Investment Center, which works with families living in HUD projects.  Charlotte provides monthly, on-site, sessions that are both nutritious and educational.  Her dedication to this particular collaboration earned her a special recognition award from the housing authority directors.  Charlotte demonstrates to others the impact that knowledge of nutrition and food preparation can have on one’s life by first living the life she teaches.  Her avid love of gardening helped her to assist one homemaker through a difficult time where food in her home was scarce.  Charlotte taught the homemaker how to garden, encouraged her, and assisted with taking care of the garden.  The homemaker was not only able to harvest a bountiful of vegetables for her family; she entered her vegetable soup in the local fair food demonstration contest, and won.  Charlotte adapts materials that reflect the changing needs of her clientele, and has become the most verbose cheerleader for EFNEP in the state.  She embodies the fundamentals of making a difference in the lives of people by constantly improving her own knowledge and skills in order to keep up with the latest.  

   

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Nimo A. Yusuf | Minnesota
Nimo was recognized as a candidate for the EFNEP paraprofessional state award for reaching out to new/nontraditional audiences.  Reaching out to the large Somali community, Nimo helps families work through the challenges of Muslim dietary restrictions in the context of American diets.  She is a tireless outreach worker, going to housing sites, community centers, schools, and mosques – anywhere she can find people to talk to about the importance of nutrition to good health.  Nimo has a degree in child development, and she continues to take classes in child development and psychology.   She also attends workshops and maintains relationships with early childhood professionals.