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“A dream job”: Scoggin to work with churches, schools to benefit community

By Marc Pruitt
For the Clemmons Courier

Lexi Scoggin is on a mission.

In her new role as the community engagement facilitator in a grant-funded partnership between the Interfaith Alliance, Faith Health Innovations and Clemmons Community Foundation, Scoggin looks forward to engaging with the area churches and nine schools in the Clemmons and Lewisville communities to develop lasting partnerships, relationships and common resources to assist in mentoring, food and clothing needs and helping shape advancement beyond high school and college. She started her new role in June and has hit the ground running, meeting with several school principals and social workers already, with several more on the horizon.

Scoggin, 37, moved to the area recently with her husband, Matthew, and two children, Selik and Sedona. She has a master’s degree in divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is tailor-made for her position. She checks all the boxes for her new role through her prior job experience.

Scoggin was a program coordinator in the Pittsburgh schools through the “Be a Middle School Mentor” initiative with Communities in Schools, which matched students with a mentor for one hour, once a week.

“That was my first job out of seminary, and I was doing community organizing in an African-American community,” Scoggin said. “I knew in seminary that I wanted to work in community ministry of some kind and not in a church. That was a successful program. Our goal was to help connect area churches to the school and vice versa and help identify all the resources in the community.”

Scoggin’s next professional stop came as a hospital chaplain in Raleigh at Wake Med, where she worked with patients and families and connected them to resources during and after their hospital stays.

“Listening was a really important part of that position,” Scoggin said. “I wanted to be sure they had the best information and access to resources once they left our care.”

After moving with her family to Charlotte, Scoggin helped educate families about organ donation for three years with LifeShare of the Carolinas.

“As you can see, this role as the community engagement facilitator lines up perfectly with my work experience,” Scoggin said. “It really is a dream job. It combines working with the churches, which I’ve done, working with the schools, which I’ve done, and working with the hospitals, which I’ve done. All so we can improve the community, through partnerships, which is really where my heart is.”

Jeremy Moseley of Faith Health Innovations is excited to see the benefits of the partnership. His network includes “connectors” that bridge healthcare and communities through Wake Forest Baptist Health and they were looking to have more of an impact on school-aged children.

“We were interested given the school component,” Moseley said. “It’s a new environment for us to understand the needs of the children in our community. We took it as an opportunity to figure out how we can be a conduit to support this partnership. Lexi has energy, insight and passion and is a strategic thinker. She has been very creative in developing a system in how she wanted to go about this role. She will have full access to our network for anything she needs.”

Sandi Scannelli, the president/CEO of the Clemmons Community Foundation, is thrilled to have Scoggin on board.

“We were looking for someone who is dedicated and willing to talk to schools and congregations and help them become thought partners, explore ideas, and become a bridge between them,” Scannelli said. “She is truly a blessing. We could not have crafted a better candidate for this role.”

Reverend Dr. Vincent W. Howell, the pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church in Clemmons, is the leader of the Interfaith Alliance.

“We started the Interfaith Alliance late last year and were searching for a way to expand our reach in the community through the schools,” Howell said. “We want to be able to match the needs of students and families at the schools with available resources by building programs and opportunities to help. All of Lexi’s experience fit perfectly with what we are trying to achieve. I’m very excited about our partnership and the great things that will come from it.”

Scoggin said that one of the main goals of her new position is to unite the local congregations to help with the common cause of helping students and their families in the community. Of particular interest is establishing a regular mentoring program.

“Based on what has been told to us by principals and social workers, when an adult can be in involved in their life on a regular basis — someone who can be a steady presence — meeting with a student one day, one hour a week, can improve behavior, self-confidence, attendance, grades and help them think and plan for their future career,” Scoggin said. “You can see the transformational impact that can have on the community. We do want congregations to be involved for practical needs as well —school supplies, material needs —that’s often a way to get their foot in the door, get warmed up and get more invested in the school by connecting those passions. The next step would be to be in the school, building relationships with the students. That’s the ultimate goal.”