The Non-GMO Project is excited to announce its newest addition to the team, Sara Young. Sara was selected from over 100 applicants and 8 interviewees to replace Camille Frazier as Outreach Coordinator. Camille has done an outstanding job in the role, but is leaving to travel in Italy and attend graduate school. Sara will take over the responsibilities of reaching out to retailers and manufacturers in the natural and organic products industry, supporting the Project’s Executive Director, Megan Westgate, on an array of projects, and overseeing the Project’s Administrative Interns and Upland, CA office, among other things.
“We think she’s going to be perfect for the position,” says Westgate. “She’s outgoing, approachable, detail-oriented, and tenacious.”
Though it was a difficult decision process, Sara’s educational and professional experience, along with her passion for non-profit work, make her ideal for the position. Before moving to Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Sara worked as a community organizer with the Idaho non-profit ICAN, giving her relevant skills including delegation, public speaking, PR experience, and grant writing, and a general knowledge of the inner workings of a small non-profit. She has completed graduate level coursework in Health Science and has a strong background in nutrition and health policy.
Sara will begin working with the project part-time on February 8th and will start full-time on the 19th.
Featured below is a brief Q&A to help you get to know Sara.
1. What interests you about working with the Non-GMO Project – what about this opportunity caught your attention?
I am a person who needs to be in a position that requires critical thinking, allows for creativity, and evokes passion; I would be bored with anything less! When reading through the job description for the Outreach Coordinator, I felt that the position encapsulated those attributes that are most important to me.
Nutrition, and more broadly health, is something I have a keen interest in learning about and working in. This position allows for me to continue exploring nutrition while also prompting the use of creativity and critical thinking when brainstorming prospects for the Project.
In addition, I am a people person. I look forward to meeting and working with the vast spectrum of people who are involved with the Non-GMO Project.
2. How do you think your prior experience will help you in working with the Non-GMO Project? What do you hope to accomplish as Outreach Coordinator?
My educational background in nutrition and health policy, in combination with my past work experience as a community organizer, serve as a fitting prerequisite for the Outreach Coordinator position.
Through my undergraduate and graduate coursework I have become familiar with the issues that surround human nutrition, particularly in the United States, and also I have become familiar with policy approaches to combat these issues. The issue of GMOs in the U.S. food supply is one that is snowballing in popularity; I look forward to increasing the momentum of the GMO issue and being a part of the large effort to bring awareness to where our food is coming from.
Working as community organizer I have gained the technical skills required to perform the duties as Outreach Coordinator. Community organizing is largely about relationship building and understanding how to communicate with a wide array of people, a skill that is important in many professions and certainly will be applicable for this one. In addition, I have become familiar with the intricacies of the nonprofit culture.
While working as the Outreach Coordinator I hope to increase direct enrollment into the Project while also increasing awareness of the GMO problem to a broader audience.
3. What challenges to you expect to face coming into this position? What are you most excited about?
Where uncertainty is present, fear is not far behind. The largest challenge I expect to face in this position is encountering individuals who have been fed misinformation on the issue of GMOs, or who have little information at all, making them reluctant to adopt change. I look forward to increasing knowledge not only about the issue, but also about what the Non-GMO Project is trying to accomplish. Hopefully through doing so we will gain the support we need to bring more awareness to the mainstream.
Lastly, I look forward to being a part of this larger effort and pushing my skills and capabilities to the max. I foresee much growth with the Project and also in myself while in this position. I feel fortunate to be a member of the team and look forward to jumping in headfirst!