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U Of I Extension Welcomes New Community And Economic Development Educator

The University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development educator is welcoming a new educator.  Valerie Belusko will be the new community and economic development educator serving Christian, Jersey, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties.


Belusko has over nine years of community development through philanthropic cultivation with the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation and six years with the University of Illinois Extension as the economic development program coordinator in Montgomery County.  She has experience with launching important projects such as iDREAM/iCREATE for Litchfield School District, a career exploration program that helps youth and adults develop dreams, set goals, and navigate the world of creativity and entrepreneurship, as well as other programs that create the foundation communities need to adapt and thrive. 


County Director Amanda Cole praised Belusko saying that her years of experience working with non-profits, local levels of government, and direct education delivery experiences will be an asset to the Community. She will help leaders and communities tackle complicated challenges in creating resilient communities. 


Belusko has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and a master’s in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  She will be based in Hillsboro in the Montgomery County office and can be reached at valerieb@illinois.edu.

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