Lori Purcell Bledsoe
2019 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Public Service Extension
Lori Purcell Bledsoe
Senior Public Service Associate, Northwest District Extension
Lori Bledsoe is considered a national leader in youth development practices and facilitation among her colleagues and she was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the first referred Journal of Youth Development while serving as the Research and Evaluation Chair for the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. She has also served on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Cooperative State, Research, Education and Extension Service 4-H National Learning Priorities Steering Committee; 4-H National Headquarters Program Quality and Accountability Task Force; and president of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. She is a key leader at the University of Georgia and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, serving on the University Public Service Promotion Committee; CAES Extension Risk Management Team; and chairing the modeling team for the Extension Delivery System.
Bledsoe has contributed exceptional scholarly work and superior programming that has impacted youth in Northwest District, across the state of Georgia and nationally. She coordinated national training for the curriculum with 32 states and more than 150 volunteers participating nationally to date. As Northwest District 4-H and Youth Program Development Coordinator (PDC), Bledsoe is responsible for the 4-H and Youth programming in 39 counties with 104 4-H youth agents, educators and paraprofessionals under her leadership reaching more than 45,256 youth.
Bledsoe has created unique public/private partnerships including placement of a 4-H agent within the Atlanta History Center; creating “virtual” 4-H clubs at the Georgia Cyber Academy reaching 600 youth per year; and connecting groups in Fulton County with 4-H including meeting with foundations like Usher’s New Look, the Carlos Foundation and Strong4Life Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
As her supervisor says:
“Dr. Bledsoe has made and continues to make an unequalled impact in the state of Georgia and nationally with her work in 4-H and youth development. She is a peerless example at the University of Georgia by staying abreast of the needs of the organization and clientele and designing programs to meet those needs.”