Arkansas Delta Women’s Leadership Academy Announces Class of 25
JONESBORO – Twenty-five aspiring women leaders have been selected to be part of the inaugural class of the Arkansas Delta Women’s Leadership Academy (ADWLA) through Arkansas State University.
The more than two dozen participants are from 17 Arkansas Delta counties and were selected from a competitive field of applicants
This new endeavor is a leadership development program at A-State, led by Andrea Allen, executive director of the Delta Center for Economic Development, Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch, dean of the Graduate School at A-State, along with program coordinator Cari White.
The primary goal of the six sessions, which will be held in various cities, is to further develop a pipeline of talented women across the Arkansas Delta by equipping them with the skills and networks to become successful leaders.
“We are encouraged by the quality and diversity of all of the applications received for the leadership academy. This is the first step in building a strong network of Delta women who will initiate change in their communities,” said Allen.Participants for the program were selected from over 55 applicants from diverse professions, backgrounds, and communities. A panel of distinguished judges reviewed and ranked each application.
"This is an impressive group of women, and we are very excited about working with them," said Dr. Jones-Branch.
The 2024 class of the Arkansas Women’s Leadership Academy includes:Arkansas County- Lee Ann Blackwell-Hoskyn, director of East Arkansas operations, Express Employment Professionals- Katrina Brown, customer service manager, Entergy ArkansasBaxter County- Bailey Perricone, health navigator team lead, Main Street Rural HealthCraighead County:- Juanita Acosta, project manager and community navigator, El Centro Hispano- Brandi Hodges, assistant director of university communications, Arkansas State University- Christie Prestidge, operations director, Tiger Correctional ServicesCrittenden County- Ashtyn Lockley, crop protection sales rep, Syngenta - Kennidi Rigell, community liaison, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine Cleveland County - Jan Stephenson, director of integrated services, DePaul Community HealthDrew County- Caroline White, human resources manager, SeaArk BoatsIzard County- Erica Cooper, assistant vice president of community development, FNBC- Jeanette Youngblood, dean of career education, University of Arkansas Community College at BatesvilleJackson County- Amber Grady, dean of community outreach, ASU-Newport Jefferson County - Yulonda James, founder and evangelist, Great Expectations World OutreachLawrence County- Lacey Robinett, real estate broker, Archer RealtyLonoke County- Ashley Reed, center manager, CAPCA Lonoke Head Start- Stephanie White, mayor of KeoMississippi County- Alisha Williams, human resource director, City of BlythevillePulaski County- Jannie Cole, sexual violence prevention lead, Arkansas National Guard, Integrated Primary Prevention- Monique Levvi, assistant programming and special events coordinator, Pulaski County Government Youth Service- Carleisha Murry, health outreach coordinator, Rural Community Alliance- JLynn Perkins, risk and performance improvement director, Little Creek Behavioral HealthRandolph County- Tessa Cripe, special education teacher, Pocahontas High SchoolSharp County- Hannah St. John, special education teacher, Batesville High School CharterWoodruff County
- Jade Kennon, director of grants and finance, ARcareThe first session will be in Jonesboro in January. Other meetings will be held across the Delta throughout the year with the program culminating in November with a graduation ceremony. To learn more about the program, one may visit ADWLA online.