Alumni Spotlight: Ivery Turns Passion into a Career

NCSU Belltower at Night.

Niambi Ivery has always had “a passion for people”. 

For over 20 years, she channeled that passion into a career in meeting and event planning, until her drive to serve women and youth led her to the Family Life Education and Coaching graduate certificate program at NC State. 

Ivery pursued the certificate, at first, mostly out of personal interest. But then she took a parent education course, and it was a game changer. Ivery realized how deeply she connected with the purpose of serving parents: “as a mom of three boys”, she says, “this type of support really resonated with me”.

That course “was also the first time I realized I could make a career change to this field, so I went on to apply for the master’s program”, says Ivery. “It completely changed the trajectory of my life”. 

Ivery says that Kim Allen was instrumental in her making the decision to shift from the certificate program to the Youth, Family, and Community Sciences master’s program. Annie Hardison-Moody served as Ivery’s advisor while she pursued her degree. “My experience with all of the faculty was positive and provided additional learning opportunities”, notes Ivery. 

Ivery graduated with a master’s degree in Youth, Family, and Community Sciences in December 2019, and has jumped headfirst into her new career path. She now serves as Program Coordinator for Mecklenburg County Public Health’s Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) program, an evidence-based parenting program operated across North Carolina focused on supporting parents and families. “Triple P is proven to improve parenting skills, decrease cases of child maltreatment as well as improve the child’s social/emotional skills and behaviors”, says Ivery. “By implementing this program across the region and state, these proven outcomes will positively impact the lives of children, families and communities”. 

In her role, Ivery is responsible for recruiting and organizing training for social workers, teachers, coaches, and others that work with parents and children, and for providing ongoing implementation support after training. The job is a great fit, says Ivery. “It provided an opportunity that was the perfect combination of my love for improving the lives of children and families, and my professional skill set of organization, coordination, implementation and coaching”. Ivery notes that there’s a lot to learn, and while she’s still figuring out her career change, she’s beginning to find her footing and develop a clear vision for her future: supporting children and families, and incorporating a diversity and inclusion focus into that work. 

Ivery says that her mom is a source of inspiration. “She was very particular about what schools I attended, what areas we lived in, what programs I participated in”, notes Ivery, “so all other future inspirations came as a result of my mom’s diligence and commitment. She was such a hard working woman with a focus on the importance of education, and that focus allowed me to end up in situations and environments that contributed to the person I am today”.