Friday Fellow of the Month: Monica Gibbs
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Each month a new Friday Fellow from the 2017-2019 class will be featured. This is the third feature in the series. The first is available here; the second is available here. The full class announcement is available at this link.
Monica Gibbs’s journey of being shaped as a leader is not the typical story. Although always outgoing, Monica did not seek out leadership opportunities. She had her sights set on becoming a tv news personality from an early age.
After attending UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, returning back to Pamlico County in 2010 marked a very new beginning for Monica. While pursuing a career in news, she decided to volunteer Public Relations services to non profits, churches, and small businesses. Before she knew it, she found herself working as a consultant, helping people promote and market their services through the use of mass media. Freelancing for nearly five years under the name, New iMage PR, Gibbs learned that she enjoyed and was successful at building relationships and connecting people with other people.
Monica also volunteered for several organizations including her local Democratic Women’s Club and Democratic Party. She quickly began being nominated and elected to leadership positions and within a couple of years would serve on the district levels for both groups. In 2012, Monica was elected delegate to the Presidential Democratic National Convention. She made history by becoming the first woman and African American delegate to a national convention from Pamlico County.
Monica went on to work and volunteer for numerous political campaigns, including that of NC Court of Appeals Judge Mark Davis. It was through political projects that she realized her passion for advocacy and outreach. Her most recent position is as Client Services Director and Client Advocate of The EPIC Center. EPIC stands for Eastern Pregnancy Information Clinic. Monica educates women from all backgrounds and ages on healthy parenting lifestyles and skills that help prepare them for childbirth. Upon coming to classes the women receive baby bucks and are able to spend their earnings in the center’s baby boutique. Monica also assists clients on medical day, in which women are able to get free pregnancy tests and limited free sonograms. Monica says there are not many feelings in comparison to the one she gets when seeing the looks on the faces of young moms seeing their babies for the first time.
Monica was just recently appointed Regional Representative of the African American Caucus, an auxiliary of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Her region is made up of 24 of Eastern NC’s counties. Her new role will focus on organizing new chapters, increasing voter engagement and participation, as well as serving as the primary point of contact for the region. She is currently putting the finishing touches on her nonprofit, The Deborah Esther Advocacy and Justice Project, which will help connect the underprivileged, primarily women, with the resources they need to succeed. She will also advocate for fair rights for women, families, and those negatively affected by our justice system.
Monica serves on the Pamlico County School District’s Athletic Booster board, Communities in Schools board, and just recently helped develop her local high school’s first PTO. In January 2018 she will also join Democracy NC as a board member.
Monica was still able to make journalism a part of her life. She has a restaurant review that is featured in her local newspaper. She loves to support and attend philanthropic events. Monica is also the mother of five! She enjoys being a hands on mom and is happy about raising very bright and outgoing kids.
She is very fortunate to have mentors and people who inspire her to lead. She comes from a hard working family and learned early that nothing in life is given to you and believes wholeheartedly in the idea that all things worth having are worth working for. Much of her strength comes from being raised in a single parent home the majority of her life and watching her mom work very hard to provide the best for her and her two younger sisters.
Her philosophy is that we all have a responsibility to our communities. She believes that the gifts we are born with are to be shared with others. Everything we do and everything we have will be because of some form of human connection. She believes that if we all utilize our gifts and use them to our greatest potential, we could do so much more for society. She says that all humans have the same basic needs. She is grateful to have a natural love for all people.
Future plans for Monica are not to slow down anytime soon, she plans to further her education, run for office, and to continue to lead and always stay involved and active in North Carolina.