Rachel Carpenter, 23, started yesterday as the new program coordinator for the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team.
Carpenter earned an associate degree from Fort Scott Community College and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in sociology. She has a certification in community development, program evaluation, and grant writing from FHSU and will graduate in the fall of 2022.
“I’ve been working in Honduras (in Central America) and decided to study sociology and am learning how to make data-driven decisions in how to help,” she said.
She interned with Jody Hoener, CEO of HBAT, and then applied for the full-time position when it became available.
“Rachel met all the minimum qualifications for the… position and brought additional skill sets to move our mission forward,” Hoener said. “She is passionate about our work and helping people, that’s the kind of culture we aim to nurture at the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team. With everyone seeking employees right now, we consider ourselves considerably blessed to have an amazing skilled induvial as a part of our team.”
Carpenter’s salary comes from a $560,000 grant which will also provide grants for farmers and ranchers and start-up businesses, she said.
The grant will also help with development funding for the east side of Fort Scott and the historic downtown Fort Scott, Carpenter said.
The grant was from the Patterson Family Foundation, a family-led foundation extending the legacy of Neal and Jeanne Patterson which strives to help lift rural communities through health care, education, economic opportunity, and beyond, according to its website How We Help | Patterson Family Foundation.
Carpenter is married to Jon, a Fort Scott Policeman, and is a nursery volunteer at Faith Church, Fort Scott. She is also the founder of the Carpenter’s Hands, a ministry to Honduras. Her hometown is Wichita, but she has lived in Bourbon County for five years.
The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team has a vision of a community where we feel safe, earn a living wage, find healthy food, have access to sidewalks, ride safe bike routes, have opportunities for recreation, and more according to its Facebook page
The HBAT is currently seeking community input to better fund development projects.
Bourbon County’s Health and Wellness Survey is open at
The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team Board consists of a cross-sector of community organizations, businesses, and governmental entities:
Jody Hoener, President, and CEO, Ex Officio
Craig Campbell, (Chair) Community leader and volunteer, Fort Scott Good Neighbor Action Team Chair
Lindsay Madison (Treasurer), President and CEO Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce
Joy Miller, (Secretary) Kansas State University Extension Office
Sally Johnson, City of Uniontown Clerk, USD 235 Board
Alysia Johnston, President Fort Scott Community College
Chelsea Yount, Fort Scott Community College
Josh Jones, Mayor City of Fort Scott
Kayla Stewart, RN Coordinator Via Christi
Mayra Montanez, Downtown Business Owner, and Entrepreneur