The success of a program starts with the instructor who delivers it. University of Illinois Extension has recently hired two new Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) instructors who are sure to lead successful programs in the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell unit. Kaytlin Beekman and Elexus Hampton joined the local SNAP-Ed team this fall.
“After being on the job a few months I have found it to be very enlightening and eye opening,” mentioned Kaytlin “not only in regards to nutrition education, but with respect to our community and culture as well. There is a real need for the information and materials we teach to be widespread throughout the community, and I am very excited to get out in the field and do just that.”
The SNAP-Ed program provides easy solutions through in-person lessons and online resources. The instructors work to help participants make the healthy choice an easy choice where they eat, learn, live, shop, and play. Programs are based on current research and engage learners in practical, hands-on classes and activities.
All seven of the SNAP-Ed instructors work together throughout the four-county unit and jump in where they are needed. Kaytlin is housed in the Tazewell County office with the majority of her work taking place in that county, while Elexus is in the Fulton County office.
Kaytlin and Elexus are both Lewistown High School grads. Elexus earned an Associate’s Degree in Arts and Sciences from Spoon River College as well as an Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science from Worsham College, and then returned to Lewistown.
“I look forward to educating people of all ages on the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle,” Elexus stated. “My role is to assist people in making healthy food choices within a limited budget. My goal is to encourage people to make the healthy choice even when no one is watching.”
Kaytlin is passionate about her current studies in leadership and organization at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She enjoys spending time with family and going on adventures with her son. Nutrition and wellness are very important to her, and she hopes to encourage others to feel the same.
Currently the local SNAP-Ed team members are working on projects such as 12 Days of Giving and Baby It’s Cold Outside Cooking Classes.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Anita Wilkinson has been serving University of Illinois Extension since 1998, currently in the role of Communications Program Coordinator for the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit. She began her career in Marshall-Putnam counties leading the 4-H program and transferred to Tazewell County 4-H in 2011. Her 4-H experiences began as a youth member and later 4-H volunteer in Stark County where she was born and raised.
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