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Dr. Jarmese Sherrod


YLIA Participant Applications Accepted through June 6 The Community Foundation of Macon County is pleased to announce Dr. Jarmese Sherrod is the new program facilitator for Young Leaders in Action (YLIA), a locally grown youth leadership program launched by The Community Foundation and Decatur Rotary Club No. 180.

Launched in 2019, YLIA brings together a total of 110 students representing all 11 Macon County High Schools, with each student bringing a wide breadth of experiences, backgrounds and potential to the program.

“An impactful leader, Dr. Sherrod has been recognized with local, national and global distinction for her passionate efforts to empower youth,” said Natalie Beck, President of The Community Foundation of Macon County. “We look forward to having her expertise at the helm of this important leadership development program.”

Dr. Sherrod has more than 20 years experience in teaching, mentoring and empowering young people. A professor at Richland Community College, she teaches English and Media. Dr. Sherrod is also CEO and founder of Sherrod’s Independent Mentoring Program (SIMP), an organization focused on academic advising, mentoring and youth development.

“My vision for the leaders who join Young Leaders In Action is simple … to help students discover their purpose, awaken their passion and to inspire them to lead with a heart of service,” said Dr. Sherrod.

Dr. Sherrod has facilitated leadership training for the Leadership Training Institute for the Central Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Above and Beyond Leadership Team at Richland Community College, which helped the college earn a National Gold Award for Excellence. Prior to joining RCC, Dr. Sherrod served as a military contractor and education advisor with the U.S. Army in Germany.

Since 2019, Dr. Sherrod has been a consultant for Decatur Public Schools and The Macon County Regional Office of Education, providing student enrichment support. Dr. Sherrod earned her undergraduate degree in radio and television from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and her master’s degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. She then attended the University of Illinois at Chicago to complete her doctorate in education curriculum and instruction with a specialization in curriculum design.

Applications for Young Leaders In Action (YLIA) are being accepted online through June 6. Sophomore, junior and senior Macon County high school students are encouraged to get involved and make a difference in their community. To complete an online application, visit During a nine-month period, YLIA participants meet together monthly to participate in workshops, learn from speakers and execute leadership projects.

The YLIA program is made possible by support from The Community Foundation of Macon County, Decatur Rotary Club No. 180 and Hickory Point Bank & Trust.

Established in 2000, The Community Foundation of Macon County stewards more than 300 funds and total assets of $40 million. To date, The Community Foundation has distributed more than $30 million to charitable organizations and endeavors. For more information about The Community Foundation of Macon County, visit

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