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Looking Forward with Optimism: What’s Ahead at LFC


Dear Colleagues,

Imagine living in a society uplifted by kindness, empathy, and respect: a world deeply grounded in the best of what it means to be human. This vision has guided me throughout my tenure as LFC’s Executive Director and I’m proud of the work we have accomplished as an organization.

At LFC, we continue to approach community building with optimism, emphasizing mutual and continuous learning through the power of strong, positive relationships. By forging partnerships and creating spaces where adults and children thrive, we have strengthened the very fabric of communities. Through our mutual learning programs, we have fostered meaningful connections, facilitated conversations, and encouraged collaborative practices.

I’m thrilled that Nichole Parks will step into the role of Executive Director on April 15 and to continue being her partner in my new capacity as the organization’s Strategic Advisor.

As we have prepared for the transition over the past six months, my appreciation for Nichole’s passion and leadership has deepened. Her unwavering dedication to the well-being of children, complemented by her nuanced understanding of people and communities, uniquely equips her to expand the work of LFC, further strengthening communities and enhancing the lives of those we serve.

Nichole and I first crossed paths back in 2010 during a workshop in Little Rock, where I had the pleasure of being hosted by Arkansas State University Childhood Services. I was immediately drawn to her humanity — to the warmth, patience, and respect Nichole genuinely demonstrates for each person. As I’ve gotten to know her over the years, Nichole’s influence has been significant. She leads with compassion and strength which has inspired me to approach my work with a similar blend of empathy and determination.

Nichole is committed to creating inclusive and supportive environments where every child can thrive. During her more than four years at LFC, she has achieved significant milestones. At the outset of the pandemic, when suddenly everything shut down, Nichole didn’t miss a beat as she shifted a statewide program in Wyoming, designed to be in-person, to a fully remote experience. The result was that the early learning community across Wyoming came to consensus on the definition of quality for young children and implemented a series of endeavors that has positively and significantly improved early learning statewide. In Mississippi, Nichole developed Leading from Strength, a program designed to harness the strengths, lived experience, and resiliency of women of color who impact the lives of children from birth to five, their families, and communities. These examples clearly demonstrate her dedication to furthering the organization’s goals of ensuring that children thrive.

As we embark on this new chapter with Nichole at the helm, we will continue to pursue innovative ways to support children and uplift the entire community. Together, we can create networks of support that honor our deep need for connection and move from depletion to harnessing individual and collective resilience.

Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership.

With gratitude,