The Juntos Program from North Carolina State University was competitively selected in 2020 as a recipient of the Extension Foundation’s New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) award and received it for a second time in 2021. The program was served by Extension Foundation staff including its key informants, and was assigned Dr. Scott Reed as the catalyst/coach for the Juntos Program during their two-year partnership with the Extension Foundation. NTAE is a grant from USDA-NIFA in partnership with Oklahoma State University. Since 2019, the Extension Foundation has served 72 competitively selected Extension programs aligned with USDA and Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) strategic goals/priority program areas. Programs receive funding and support from the Extension Foundation for one full year.
Over the course of the two years that the Juntos Program received services from the Extension Foundation the project leader – Diana Urieta, Senior Director and Extension Specialist of Juntos, North Carolina State University – and her team were coached to identify new possibilities and strengthen their planned impact. The Juntos Program received additional support to create materials and experiences that engage Extension resources to speed development and generate a change where it is desired. The NTAE Program provided the Juntos Program a robust and productive interaction with a group of catalysts and key informants in a mentoring role to help grow professionally over the course of the partnership.
The Extension Foundation is excited for the continued success of the Juntos Program. According to Patrick Smith, North Carolina State University, “NC State’s Juntos program has received a $7.8 million grant to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) participation, persistence and career readiness among Hispanic and Latino youth in the states of North Carolina and Washington. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Youth Innovators Empowering Agriculture Across America program.”
On the topic of working with the Extension Foundation through NTAE, Diana Urieta shared that “carrying the weight of this project’s vision casting and submission process was no walk in the park. I am incredibly grateful to have had my catalyst and mentor, Dr. Scott Reed and the NTAE team supporting me from beginning to end. From encouraging me to publish an efieldbook and podcasts on the Juntos story, building my small staff’s leadership potential, taking my management plan and creating images that produced vision, to believing this proposal was worth funding. Having the NTAE team helped strengthen the bridge that continues to serve hundreds and thousands of Juntos students and their families around our nation through Extension.”
Read the full story from North Carolina State University here.