Ms. Butts has over 20 years of experience in change management, public relations, strategic planning, program performance, staff development and education and training. Patricia’s career has always been about service. After serving in the United States Army, she worked with military families, in the states and abroad, at Fleet and Family Support Centers in the Hampton Roads and Commander, Navy Installations Command in Washington, D.C.
Her passion for civil rights and the history of culture in Alabama evolved into an opportunity with the National Park Service. Patricia helped promote awareness and increased visitation for Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, and the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, while in her role as a management analyst and public information officer. Her participation in the Selma to Montgomery’s 50th Anniversary ignited a call for action.
Volunteerism and advocacy were natural progressions. Patricia has shared her time and talent in leadership roles with Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Alabama CASA. And, now with Lee County Literacy Coalition, Ms. Butts is skilled in working in complex systems involving the private sector, government, philanthropic organizations, community groups, and educational institutions. She is excited about the new direction of the organization. Re-branding and delivery styles will introduce increases in outreach, service delivery, and literacy rates in the state of Alabama. Originally from Virginia, Patricia calls Alabama home. Ms. Butts was appointed by the board of directors on May 1, 2019. Currently serving on the boards of the Alabama Literacy Alliance and the Lee County Remembrance Project as well as a member of the Advisory Council for the Village Friends.
Austin earned his master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Auburn University. While at Auburn, Austin has focused his academics, extra-curriculars, and internship experiences on information and government accessibility, education policy, and nonprofit management. He has coauthored the paper “A Bear on a Wall” which was a scientific study on place-based ethics. He has also worked as a research assistant on a number of other projects with Auburn University’s Lab for Usability, Communication Interaction, and Accessibility, as well as projects with other independent researchers.
After earning his degree, Austin is excited to begin his professional career with Lee County Literacy Coalition as the Program Manager. Having started with the organization as an intern, and later serving as a VISTA Learner Engagement Coordinator, this new role is a natural progression and an earned promotion. He has a passion for public service that has driven him to receive additional graduate certificates in nonprofit organizations and community governance, as well as serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Through a combination of these experiences, Austin has worked to mold himself into someone who can help strengthen his community and help improve their access to information and education.
Ms. Vendetta Y. Reynolds is an honorably retired military veteran. As an accomplished professional, she has over 30 years’ experience in adult education and training with emphasis in program development, facilitation, and presentations in the U.S. and overseas. She has extensive expertise supervising a diverse workforce, leveraging human capital, and establishing highly performing teams to improve customer service and mission support. Vendetta is a graduate of Saint Leo University, Florida, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Troy University in Alabama. Her professional experience beyond the military includes work as a Department of Defense (DoD) Contractor where she provided family and work life programs for military and civilian family members, work in the nonprofit sector as a Family/Child Specialist, Minority Aids Project Supervisor, HIV testing screener, and case manager as well as marketing, outreach, and database management for the Department of Labor funded NexStep program to increase military spouse employment.
Vendetta retired in 2021 from Civil Service where she used her expertise as an In-home Parent Education Specialist to provide service and support to first time parents or any parent with a child under the age of four years old. She has provided past volunteer support to the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services and the Norfolk YWCA Women In Crisis Program as well as technical support to Lee County Literacy Coalition. LCLC is pleased to have Ms. Reynolds officially join us as a VISTA member in January 2023.
Nancy J. Andou Charles has a background in architecture, a master’s degree in community planning, and a Minor in Economic Development from Auburn University. She is a very passionate person and coming from a modest, low-income community has forged her character and influenced her professionally. While growing up in her neighborhood, she realized that some groups have fewer opportunities than others. Nancy has become accustomed to working harder to gain access to opportunities. “I realized that the most vulnerable people and communities often need a voice, which has made me committed to everything related to social justice and equity”. “My approach is to advocate for people with no power to do it for themselves.”
Rajalakshmi Selvam earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Application at Pondicherry University. She has experience in data conversion analysis and as a customer service representative for more than six years, she received the “Best Performer” Award. Recently, she moved to the United States with her family. Soon after, she pursued an opportunity to serve as a VISTA member. Rajalakshmi believes that this role will take her to the next level.
She started her journey as an LCLC Learner. Now, she is one of the VISTA members. If anyone said to her that you cannot do it. This will be her answer “If you have a goal or dream, do not let others around you dissuade you from pursuing it. Do not buy into their narratives. Believe, you can accomplish far more than you think if you simply do not give up on your dreams and are willing to work extremely hard for them.” She is excited to engage with the community and help them access information and education.
Mrs. Martin has an educational background from Southern Union State Community College, Tuskegee University, and Auburn University with an academic focus in Chemistry and Healthcare Management. While accomplishing her studies, Erika administered the summer research development of Tuskegee University Chemistry Department as well as assisted in community volunteering and outreach in Lee, Macon, and Montgomery Counties.
Erika is passionate when it comes to serving her community. A few of the organizations she is a part of include Dancing Stars of East Alabama; Big House Foundation; Sigma Alpha Iota fraternity for Women; Sisters of Service non-profit community service organization and New Challenger Approaching (NCA) public charity. Erika is enthusiastic about continued education in adulthood and an advocate for family literacy. Through the years she has participated in leading tutoring sessions and work groups at universities and around the community.
Erika is looking forward to working tirelessly and diligently to provide for her community and establish herself in this role both professionally and personally. A quote Erika lives by is "... It's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished. It's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what you've given back." -D. Washington
Daniels has been working with children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old for over 30 years. She owned my own daycare home and Day Care Center where her goal was to educate, motivate and inspire children to learn. Her goal is help children at a young age to achieve their educational goals in life. “I think by starting that learning stage early in life is the key to it”. Daniels has worked in private daycare centers in Macon County, Montgomery County and Lee County. She worked with the Montgomery Community Action Head start Program for 8 years and now is employed with ACHR Head start Program in Auburn. She has a CDA in Early Childhood Education, Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and working on a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at AUM. “My goal is to continue to reach children in the community to help them rise to an educational level that will help them to succeed in life”.