Ola Hawkins

  • May 2019

Nutrition Educator
MSU Extension Service
Leflore County

Years in position: 26
Years at MSU: 26

Even though she has a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice, Ola Hawkins found her place with the MSU Extension Service as a nutrition educator in Leflore County.

Ola has been working with children and adults, teaching them the importance of nutrition and physical activity for nearly 27 years. Specifically, she teaches a better way of living by eating healthy foods and engaging in regular physical activity.

“One of my favorite things about my job is going out and seeing a child or adult after the class and they remember me and remember what I taught them,” Ola said.

Her earliest and favorite memory on this job was the first time she worked with an adult group talking about the importance of nutrition and exercise.

“That experience made an impact on me because they were excited about the difference a few changes in eating habits and adding physical activity can make,” Ola said. “They were really pleased by the end of our lessons. It feels good to know that I can make a difference.”

One of the most important qualities to have in order to be successful in this career is having a deep passion for people and their wellbeing. Another vital trait is simply having a willingness to help and be available.

“I don’t feel like people actually know the importance of eating healthy and the benefits to be gained,” Ola said.

Ola works hard and enjoys her job. “I like knowing that I can help make a difference in the lives of others.” Ola said.

Ola’s son recently graduated from MSU, and her grandson plans on attending in the fall. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, cake decorating and spending time with her family and friends.

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