EFNEP Awards 2023

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Each year EFNEP takes time to reflect on and honor the commitment of our educators, community leaders, and partners who made a significant impact by empowering families and communities. We are proud of the collective efforts of all of our staff in advancing the mission of EFNEP.

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Stay tuned to learn about all of this year’s award recipients. Below is our first round of awards winners:

EFNEP Media Outreach Award

Della Hicks received this year’s EFNEP Media Outreach Award. This award is presented to EFNEP Educators who have demonstrated excellence in program promotion through media outreach. Recipients of the award pave the way with their innovative and strategic use of media platforms such as: social media, radio, television, newspaper or other appropriate channels to engage program participants, stakeholders, and partners within their community. The EFNEP Media Outreach Award celebrates the dedication, creativity, and impact of educators who use media outreach effectively to make a positive impact on their community.

Della Hicks – Media Outreach Award


Over the Mark Award

Individuals receiving the “Over the Mark” awards excel at outreach and partnership. They adjust their work schedules to meet participants where they are and when they can meet. They form solid partnerships with community organizations that result in EFNEP goals being met. They exceed target outreach while meeting and/or exceeding program impact goals.

Red Apple level (5 – 24%)

  • Lynnell Godfrey
  • Nitasha Kearney
  • Jean Brownfield
  • Hiliana Patino
  • Janet Bryan
  • Hazel McPhatter

Bronze Apple (25% – 49%)

  • Patty Bowers
  • Suyapa Mejia 

Silver Apple (50-74%)

  • Betsy Hooker

Gold Apple (75-99%)

  • Seydel Cropps

Platinum Apple (100% or more)

  • Shanna Scott

Team Award

The success of EFNEP depends on collaborative team relationships. The team award celebrates teams, which exhibit a cooperative spirit, using innovative ideas and approaches to meet the needs of limited resource families in the county. Teams consist of at least one EFNEP Educator and other partners.

  • The first team award is presented to former Union County EFNEP educator, Judith Garcia, former Union County FCS Agent, Marcus McFarland, and Richmond County FCS agent, Cherie Bennett. The three collaborated to facilitate “Families Eating Smart, Moving More” and “Faithful Families, Thriving Communities” curriculum to underserved students at Wingate University with Dr. Catherine Wright and Dr. Shea Watts. Both curricula were integrated into Food and Faith: Exploring Health and Happiness Around the Many Tables of Our Lives course. The purpose of the partnership was to build those connections between cooking food, nutrition, and understanding different world faiths. Collaboration in this context was crucial in ensuring the successful integration of two different curricula into the Food and Faith course. By working together, the EFNEP educator and the FCS agents were able to bring their unique expertise and perspectives to create a comprehensive and engaging learning experience for Wingate University students. Congratulations!
  • The second team award goes to EFNEP Educator Patty Bowers along with Kristi Thach and Justin Roberson from Perquimans County. Patty Bowers teamed up with PE teachers from Perquimans County High School to deliver EFNEP to their students. The program focused on Nutrition education, Physical activity, and Hands on Culinary Education. This partnership introduced new and innovative ways to include physical activity into daily living, fresh new recipes that inspired kids to eat what they prepare, and sessions on nutrition to teach youth the importance of balanced meals based on the MyPlate. The program focused on Local Foods and teaching students where their food comes from.
  • The last team award is given to EFNEP Educators Angie Lawrence and Cindy Rivenbark, RNEA, Stephanie McDonald-Murray, Duplin County FCS Agent, Rachel Ezzell, and the Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy of Brunswick and Pender Counties. EFNEP has had a long-standing partnership with Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy, located in Sampson County. After a staff vacancy in the county, RNEA, Stephanie McDonald-Murray helped Angie Lawrence, EFNEP Educator in Brunswick County, continue this collaboration in 2021. The team adapted to meet the needs of this organization by offering online, real-time education through the life skills classes. Today, this partnership continues strong, having graduated hundreds of cadets.

Golden Star Award

The Golden Stars of EFNEP are individuals, groups or agencies, both internal and external, who have significantly contributed to the county program. They provide on-going support to help the EFNEP Educator achieve the county program goals.

The 2023 Golden Stars of EFNEP are:

  • Amy McEntire – Henderson County
  • Ashe County Schools – Ashe County
  • Carolyn Love – Scotland County
  • Maty Ferrer – Hoppmann of Wake County
  • Michael Pittman – Halifax County
  • Joan White – Chowan County
  • Laura Peedin – Wayne County
golden star winners

Emily Pendergrass, Laura Peedin and Dinorah Keith of Wayne County


Learn more about the other award winners here:

Outstanding Performance Award

Ngaire Van Eck Award 

Susan McCaskill Morgan Award

Circle of Excellence Award 

New EFNEP Educator Award

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!