By Jill Penley
Sarah Ransom, Family and Consumer Sciences & 4-H Extension Agent, who has worked for the University of Tennessee in Johnson County for the past six years, is not only a mentor to local youth but also a friend to senior adults as she currently partners with various groups including the school system, the senior center, the community pool, and the health department.
Being an Extension Agent is a vital role. In a given month, Ransom works with hundreds of people, including the students of Johnson County. “We live in a hurting world,” said Ransom. “I aim to be a light spot, a place where people can come to be heard and get help.” Ransom certainly shines in this role, whether it is helping people get more active or teaching a classroom about the benefits of nutrition. “I go into the classes I teach and the activities I work with praying that I can be a good influence,” said Ransom, “and that my light for Christ would shine and show a difference.”
Ransom attended Liberty University, in Virginia, and graduated with B.S. in Family and Child Development in 2012 and earned her graduate Degree from East Tennessee State University in Early Childhood Education.
“When I took this job, I originally thought I’d be here one…maybe two years,” said Ransom, a Butler native who was raised on a farm alongside five siblings, “but the Lord had different plans and over the first couple of years in my job, my heart just fell in love with the work – but more importantly, I fell in love with the people.”
Ransom often tells co-workers across the state while she enjoys seeing them; she always anticipates getting back home to her people. “I’m here to love people,” Ransom said. “My mission in life is to love people and help them grow and develop.”
Serving as an Extension agent puts Ransom in a very public place most of the time. “It’s amazing the people I have come to know over the last several years,” Ransom remarked. “There is never a dull moment.“
While the job can be overwhelming at times, Ransom relates she loves what she does. “I listen to the laughter of my participants as they make new friends,” she recalls. “I watch children grasp skills I’m teaching and start applying them. I love their grins and hugs as I walk into the classroom.”
When asked words of wisdom or encouragement, she would provide young ladies living in our community, Ransom beams. “The best words of wisdom I can give is to follow God with all your heart,” she said. “He will provide your every need.”
She also suggests students aim to work in a place that reaches their specific passion. “Figure out what you love doing and never stop trying to find a way to do that in your job,” said Ransom. “If you love what you do every day, it makes pouring into others worthwhile – even on the exhausting days.”
Being able to give back to my county means a lot to Ransom. “I live in a beautiful place with great people – what more could I ask for?” she asks. She says when people ask her about her job, she simply replies, “It’s the dream job I didn’t know I needed…but God did.”