Cynthia Clifton | 5/18/2015 8:15:47 PM
The St. John the Baptist Parish LSU AgCenter Nutrition Extension Agent, Cynthia Clifton attended the Louisiana Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (LEAFCS) Convention in New Orleans, LA from May 4 – 6, 2015. During the awards banquet, Cynthia Clifton was awarded the Mary W. Wells Diversity Award and the Community Partnership Award. The Mary W. Wells Diversity Award is presented in support of the Cooperative Extension System’s emphasis on diversity and pluralism. It is a national program to respond to the changing work force, population and Extension audience. Diversity is defined as differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental abilities, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice and other human differences. Pluralism is defined as an organizational culture that incorporates mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity among people who are diverse in the dimensions of human differences. Ms. Clifton provided relevant educational programs to an increasingly diverse population in the parish and encouraged the participants to get involved in their health and wellness.
Ms. Clifton won the Community Partnership Award for outstanding community partnership in meeting the needs of families through collaboration with groups, agencies and consumers. Ms. Clifton partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services Homer Joseph Community Center in Reserve, LA, where she conducted NEWS for a healthy living program and exercise classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. The classes focus on improving strength so the participants could stay healthy, have more energy, balance their health, prevent or delay some diseases like heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and reduce depression.
Ms. Clifton provides leadership roles that promote diversity in the community. She conducts quarterly Advisory Leadership Council (ALC) meetings which she has built on throughout her 7 years of employment with the LSU AgCenter in St. John the Baptist Parish. Ms. Clifton saw a need for promoting healthier lifestyle among senior citizens and connected in a consistent and sustainable way helping the seniors learn how nutrition affects their well-being. Teaching how to read nutrition labels was a major lesson for all seniors, because they always focused on calories and not the sodium or carbohydrates in their diet. Learning how to read the nutrition label and understand the nutrition label has really helped some of the seniors to decrease their medication for high blood pressure and diabetes. “If I have touched at least one person to reduce or get off their medication, I feel that I have done a great service” stated Ms. Clifton.