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Photo: Kris Peavy

Personnel Profiles

Kris Peavy

When it comes to working with Extension, Kris Peavy keeps her focus on kids and the community. Peavy grew up in Randolph County and continues to live and work there. As 4-H agent, she holds 4-H meetings for fourth through 12th-graders. She also serves as the county Extension coordinator and the 4-H program coordinator for four surrounding counties. In those positions, she helps program assistants plan events and serves as their mentor.

4-Hers in Randolph County participate in livestock shows, forestry judging team and, of course, go to camp. To help students afford the cost of camp, they sell sweet Georgia Vidalia onions. "Many kids from low income families can't afford to go to camp on their own," Peavy said. "The onion sale is a fundraiser to help these kids be able to go to 4-H camp for free."

Peavy recently received the National Program of Distinction award for Project MONEY (Multi-County Outreach Network Educating Youth). The award was based on a program that holds a financial literacy conference for sixth through eighth- graders and a partnership with Regions Bank about finances for high school students.

She doesn't forget the adults in her counties. The Economic Opportunities for Southwest Georgia summit was recently held at the Andrew College in Cuthbert to train adults from nine area counties. Participants came together to work on rural development and poverty. Panels on economic development, success stories and the importance of youth focus in rural counties were held. More than 150 community leaders participated in the event.

"We came together to find out how we could work more regionally to get things accomplished instead of each small county trying to do everything on their own," Peavy said. She hopes to gain funding from the summit to focus on youth leadership in Randolph County and to conduct future meetings for the counties to conquer poverty in the area.

Peavy is also focused on the importance of youth development and leadership in her counties. "If we don't have youth, we have no future," she said. "It's important to teach them how to be leaders now because we'll need them to be our leaders later."

She recently started the Youth Leadership Program where students attend one class a month on topics ranging from health care to agribusiness to communications. "The kids in the (program) do community service projects, attend monthly classes and get involved in the community," she said. "The program is aimed at helping them learn about different professions they may be interested in and helping them get involved in their community."

Seeing the benefits and positive outlook in the kid's lives makes working with the youth well worth it, Peavy said. "Some of these kids are on their own," Peavy said. "Showing them there is another world, encouraging them to be successful and giving them the skills to become leaders in the community makes it worth it."

Outside of her Extension work duties, Peavy enjoys spending time with her husband and 1-year-old son.

(Written by Allie Byrd, a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

Released May 2010.