Service Award Given to CCE's Poteet
By Tomeka Sinclair, Around the Town Editor
Community and Civic Engagement Director Christie Poteet received the Mountaire Farms’ Better Carolina Award for her involvement with CCE but mostly for the service she does for the community.
The Mountaire Farms’ Better Carolina Award is an award given every month to an individual, business, organization or class to recognize their support in giving back to the community.
The award includes an engraved trophy and recognition on print and online of the Fayetteville Observer.
Poteet said one of their community partners, Jessica Drake, nominated her, and she got a phone call from the Fayetteville Observer saying she won the award this month.
“I didn’t even know I had been nominated,” Poteet said. “It was a surprise.”
Poteet said that getting the award sets a good example for students to get out and help their community. She said if you want students to be engaged, then you have to also be engaged.
“You don’t do this work because you want to be recognized, but it’s nice to know people do recognize the work you do,” she said.
Poteet said she grew up in a single parent home in an area with a high poverty rate much like Robeson County.
She said college was a dream for her and not something she took for granted.
“At one point, my mom and I were homeless, and people gave to me all the time,” she said.
Poteet said most of her Christmas presents were given to her by strangers. Because of the support she got, she was determined to give back and serve her own community.
“I want people to know how important it is for you to support the people around you,” she said.
She said she received a tuition scholarship to Berea College in Kentucky, based on someone else’s recommendation.
She said that college was a “perfect fit” because of their encouragement and support for service.
“Everyone at Berea is on scholarship and devoted to service,” she said.
After getting her masters degree, she taught service learning classes at UNCG.
Then, Poteet searched for a job that allowed her to teach but also help out with the community, and that’s how she found the opening at UNCP.
“I fell I love with the community here,” she said. “It reminds me so much of my home town.”
Poteet said that told her that this is where she needs to be.
“I think I received this award because I look for opportunities to make this place better,” she said.
Photo by Stefanie Smith. Christie Poteet looks over the shoulder of Jordan Hunt working on the computer in the CCE office.