By Sheryl Stanley
As the Cass County Extension Service new Human Development and Family Science Field Specialist, Kyleigh Sullivan is now available to offer residents help and assistance with a wide range of interpersonal and family issues.
Sullivan grew up in Pettis County and attended Missouri State University, Springfield, where she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She graduated in 2016 with a master’s degree in Early Childhood and Family Development.
After graduating, Sullivan was employed at reStart in Kansas City as a relationship advocate. Her work there included both one-on-one counseling and facilitating group activities to counter juvenile violence and sexual trafficking.
Sullivan said she was drawn to her new job by the opportunity to work with all age groups and to do more educational outreach and group facilitation.
She assumed her duties at Cass County Extension in September and currently has responsibilities covering Cass County and nine other counties in the west central Missouri area.
Two programs are of key importance to her:
The first, Focus on Families, fulfills the state mandate that requires divorcing parents with children to get training in effective parenting skills.
The second, Mental Health First Aid, trains people to recognize early symptoms of mental illness in others and assist them in getting further care as needed.
Sullivan said her work has been very enjoyable and she appreciates the warm welcome she has received from her co-workers, as well as the support from the extension council.
She continues to reach out within the communities where she works and to build relationships with schools, the juvenile justice system, child care workers and others.
She encourages people who have questions or need assistance with family issues to call the Extension Office at 816-380-8460.