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Elizabeth Young becomes the newest director at Hunger and Health Coalition.

Photo BY ROB MOORE



Originally published: 2014-06-17 20:27:45
Last modified: 2014-06-17 20:28:28

Boone resident heads up Hunger Coalition

by Tom Mayer

The pursuit of community service and a lifelong desire to aid those in need continues for one Boone resident as Elizabeth Young prepares to take the helm of the Hunger and Health Coalition in mid-July.

"I'm so excited, it's something so dear to me," Young said, about accepting the executive director position at the nonprofit organization. Hunger and Health Coalition works to relieve poverty and hunger through food and pharmaceutical assistance to High Country residents.

Young is no stranger to the service-oriented profession. She has served as the executive director of Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living since January 2012, and leaving that position to assume duties at Hunger and Health Coalition will, in many ways, be a lateral move, she said.

"It will be similar," Young said. "It's in a similar vein in that it's a helping profession."

For Young, that profession began at an early age. As an Appalachian State University student, she studied psychology and sociology, but her passion for helping those less fortunate than herself was ignited years earlier.

"We were at the beach, and I was 9 years old," Young said. "I was in a bookstore and I picked up my first psychology textbook -- and I fell in love with it."

It was a love she was able to share with her family.

"I come from a strong activist family," Young said. "From age 7 to about college, I was an outdoor expedition leader for summer groups. I met a lot of people and saw a lot of diversity."

Young said she is anxious to embrace the diversity of clients at the Hunger and Health Coalition -- and she looks forward to the community's aid in that pursuit.

"Boone is such a beautiful community," Young said. "It's full of kind and generous people, people who give back to the community in many different capacities."

Young is adept and successful at tapping into those capacities -- a talent which drew the attention of the Hunger and Health Coalition's board of directors when it was exploring candidates for the organization's top position.

"Elizabeth is a godsend," said HHC board chairman Joe Bradford. "When we met with her, we knew she was the one who will lead this organization into the future."

That's a future Young is eager to embrace.

"I'm so excited about helping people here in our community," she said. "I'm anxious to increase funding, so we can reach an even wider spectrum of folks, and really help people who are in need."