A local organization that links businesses, agencies and residents together for the betterment of children recently announced a change in leadership, effective Sept. 25.
Sarah Pedarre, a Forsyth resident, recently began as executive director of Forsyth County Community Connection, an agency aimed at “connecting the needs of vulnerable children and families to agencies and volunteers and create healthy pathways so that every family is healthy, engaged and self-sufficient.”
Associated with the Georgia Family Connection Partnership, several of the organization’s major initiatives include recruiting foster families for Forsyth children who currently are in group homes or being fostered in other counties and raising awareness about and preventing child sexual abuse.
Pedarre, who replaces former executive director Niki Colella, said she wants to continue to emphasize those focuses.
“This is an amazing community,” she said. “So many people are willing to work for the good of our county. My personal goal is to impact more children and families, seeking out those in need and finding ways to help them.
“Because Forsyth County does not have enough foster families, many local children must be placed in group facilities or with families in other counties around the state, so we need more local foster families. They can make a difference in the life of a child.”
As Community Connection’s executive director, Pedarre serves as a board member on the county’s Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) office and is a member of the Forsyth Social Services Committee.
Pedarre also participates in monthly stakeholder meetings with the Juvenile Court, Sheriff’s Office, Fire Department, school social workers and other non-profit organizations.
In addition, she works with Leadership Forsyth and the Lanier Forsyth Rotary Club.
“Sarah has been a great addition to Community Connection,” said Jeremy Echuck, board president of Community Connection. “In the short time serving as executive director, she has already exceeded our expectations, bringing new energy to the organization, and confirming to board members that she is the right person for the job.
“Entering a new era with a new executive director offers a unique moment for pause - evaluate where we started, what we’ve accomplished, and where we want to go. I can’t be more excited about our future and the impact we’ll have in our community.”
Prior to accepting the directorship job, Pedarre worked for the Forsyth County Family YMCA, where she has spent the last 12 years.
She said this helps her in the new role.
“I look forward to being a part of bringing our neighbors and other organizations together to help others,” she said, “especially families and children in need.”