London's Living Treasures Banquet 2019 - Page 36

Molly Barnett Being involved in her home community has al- ways been important to London native, Molly Barnett. That dedication has paid off in many different as- pects of her life, primarily stemming from her vol- unteerism in many local events. The daughter of Jim and Judy Barnett, she has a sis- ter and brother, nieces and nephews and four great nieces and a great nephew, being that she was born when her siblings were nearly grown. Barnett has always en- joyed being involved in extra activities. At South Laurel High School, she was a member of the Beta Club and Teenage Re- publican Club. She was active in college as well, attending Berea College and graduating with a de- gree in political science in 2007. She did some political work after college gradu- ation, then returned to her hometown where she worked for attorney War- ren Scoville for two years. But her political degree paid off again, and she worked for the Kentucky Republican Party for sev- eral years. Barnett began vol- unteering with London Downtown and was named executive director in 2012. During that time, the group established Arts 36 and Eats at Farm- ers Market, spon- sored the Down- town Christmas Open House and Boo on Main. Prior to that, she worked on the organization committee with Thursday Night Live - which offers free con- certs in front of the Laurel County Courthouse every Thursday night from June through August. In 2016, she was hired as the community educa- tion and public informa- tion officer for the Laurel County Public School system where she attends school events and gath- ers information about staff and students and re- lays that information to the community. She is a strong believer in lifelong learning and believes her role in the school system is vital to that purpose - for herself and the community as a whole. "This is a very good environment for that," she said. "Covering the school system gives me a lot of satisfaction. Seeing the wheels turn in a child's head, when you see them get something that they've been struggling with. You see the future through a child's eyes." "We've had a very good year this year," she contin- ued. Barnett remains active in her volunteerism in her hometown. She is a mem- ber of the London Rotary Club where she is winding down her term as president and she is a volunteer with CASA, which provides support for foster children as a li- aison between the child and the natural and foster parents and the judicial system. "I think it's important to be involved in the commu- nity," she said. "We learn so much when we share ideas." She continues to do that through various programs in the area. Barnett is a graduate of the Leadership Tri-County program and received the Duane Hart Leader Among Leader award in 2008. She serves on the regional advisory board for God's Pantry and volunteers there to help with the Backpack Club. She was involved in clog- ging and learned to weave while working at the Sun- shine House at Berea Col- lege. She credits her love for her community to her par- ents and the opportunities available in the area. "I've always been for- tunate to have a lot of en- couragement - from teach- ers, my parents, my church family, and friends," she said. "Being involved now with the school system has put me in a place where you're always encouraged to do better." London’s Living Treasures Banquet 2019