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Meet Devon Terry

Devon Terry was enrolled in a minority male mentoring program at his local community college. The program encourages students to volunteer and one day PowerUp NC was holding an event in his own community. PowerUp is a program of the NC League of Conservation Voters Foundation.

Devon says, “There was music. There was food. After the event, there were PowerUp volunteers ready to chat about ways to stand up for the community and for the environment. It was interesting, and it looked like it could be fun. A couple of days after the event, I went out to eat with one of the organizers. After an enjoyable conversation, I was eager to volunteer.”

PowerUp saw that Devon had loads of skills. So soon he was organizing. He was canvassing, getting folks registered to vote, helping them remove roadblocks to voting, and encouraging them to come to meetings to share their own issues and concerns.

Devon is a natural leader. “I speak out at meetings,” he says, “I encourage people to get out of their comfort zone.”

One day, after Devon had volunteered at meetings for some time, one of PowerUp;s staff asked if he’d like to lead a session. Devon says, “I had to take my own advice and step out of my own comfort zone. So PowerUp and I set up a meeting at one of the local recreation centers. Then I knocked on doors in my neighborhood and got a good crowd to come hear me and participate. It was scary, but I enjoyed leading the meeting. I had never done anything like that before.”

Devon was getting comfortable outside his old comfort zone. He kept discovering his innate skills and talents. So when the NCLCV Foundation started the new Boards and Commissions Fellowship Program, he signed right up. The program matches experienced local board and commission members with talented prospects from their communities.

Devon says, “Good mentors create good leaders, and you can’t be a good leader without being a good follower. This program means so much to me. I want to stand up for my values, for my community, for a livable planet, and for my fellow man.”

Devon will make the world a better place. He knows that change starts with yourself, with finding what matters to you and working for it. For Devon, what matters is a healthy environment for all people – starting with his own community.

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