Brumfield honored with Natchez Athena Award

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; Cynthia Parker Brumfield’s background is in education, but she used that knowledge and her love of her hometown to help put business and education interests together.

For four years Brumfield administered the School to Careers program, through a grant awarded to the Natchez-Adams County Economic Development Authority. Under her direction the program funded projects to introduce students to career opportunities and work skills.

For Brumfield, it was a chance to get businesses involved in the schools, particularly the public school district.

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&uot;If we all get involved we can make a difference,&uot; Brumfield said.

But the programs also helped spread positive news about the schools, she said.

&uot;When we first started this, there was such a negative view of the (public) school district,&uot; Brumfield said.

Showing people the positive aspects of the school district has helped change opinions, she said.

&uot;It’s just by talking, by educating,&uot; Brumfield said. &uot;I think some opinions have changed.&uot;

Brumfield was honored for her commitment to the community Thursday night as the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce presented her with the Athena Award, sponsored by Great River Olds. The Athena Award honors a woman who has given her time and talent to the community.

Brumfield is an active member of the chamber, currently serving as vice president for membership. She is also active with the chamber’s education committee.

Among the programs the school to careers grant has helped foster is the Job Shadow Day. The first year Brumfield oversaw the program, more than 350 students were able to &uot;shadow&uot; professionals in the Miss-Lou &045; from physicians to politicians.

&uot;Each year we’ve defined it a little more,&uot; Brumfield said, pointing out that most of the schools in Natchez participate in the event every year.

Although she has recently taken a job as marketing director for Monmouth, Brumfield plans to continue her work with the education programs.

&uot;I’m just very committed to keeping some things going,&uot; she said.

Brumfield, the daughter of Richard and Nell Parker, has a 14-year-old son, Parker.