Written by Anthony Moujaes
Eunice Carrasco-Hill's first challenge in her position with the United Church of Christ, serving as Project Coordinator at the Franklinton Center at Bricks, N.C., is to mobilize the surrounding community to get involved with the center's literacy and food justice projects.
Carrasco-Hill is jumping right into her work during the Advent season to make 2013 as strong as possible for Franklinton Center.
"I'll meet with the [Bricks] mayor and administrators to make contacts, we'll look at expanding our outreach to bring students into our literacy programs, and I'll let the community know I'm there and my purpose, and what we want to achieve," Carrasco-Hill said.
Carrasco-Hill has lived near Franklinton Center, a conference, retreat, and educational facility in eastern North Carolina with a focus on justice advocacy and leadership for years, which she says gives her a unique insight into the community culture.
"Eunice comes to this position with extensive project management experience, strong community connections, and solid educational preparation," said the Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo, executive minister of the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries.
Carrasco-Hill will design, conduct, and implement the work camp and immersion experiences to encourage advocacy on justice issues in which Franklinton Center is engaged. She joined the staff team led by Director Vivian Lucas on Dec. 3, and spent three weeks working to deepen her knowledge of various local organizations in the tri-county area surrounding the center, and learning more about the national structures of the UCC.
"Her strengths in community service, program planning, school improvement initiatives, family involvement, and fundraising will serve the Center well as the person responsible for the coordination of the ongoing programs and projects," Jaramillo said. Among the programs she will nurture; The Just Food Project, Literacy Campaign, and participating in community economic development initiatives.
"There's a lot of potential where [Franklinton Center] is located," Carrasco-Hill said.
Carrasco-Hill said she plans to drive awareness for the Just Food Project, a community garden at the Center, by promoting healthy eating, and by bringing North Carolina farmers to Franklinton Center for education and help learning about financial assistance opportunities. She also mentioned a starting a local farmer's market to benefit the center and surrounding community.
Most recently, Carrasco-Hill was the Head Start and Early Head Start center manager and Hispanic outreach specialist in Scotland Neck, N.C. Prior to serving in these educational settings, she was an operations manager for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico in New York City for 10 years. In her 20-year career in management and program development, Carrasco-Hill has worked as senior director of United Child Care in Newport News, Va., program director for Levi Solomon Learning Center in Suffolk, Va., and program director for Quality Time Child Care in Smithfield, Va.
"I learned more about the needs of Hispanic people in North Carolina," she said, "and my job became to help those people. … [My role with the UCC] is everything I had done at Head Start and in non-profit, and I'll continue doing that with a different set-up. I look forward to it."