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From 4-H to Nonprofits: Charlie Godfrey’s Journey

Charlie Godfrey became familiar with NC State at a young age through his involvement in North Carolina 4-H. Having an interest in helping others and using agriculture as an avenue led him to pursue a master’s degree in agricultural and extension education, which he graduated with from NC State in 2017.

After earning his master’s, Godfrey worked as a 4-H agent in Caldwell and Cleveland Counties. He loved being part of the positive impact the program had on local youth. During his time as a 4-H agent, he pursued a youth development and leadership (YDL) graduate certificate, which he obtained in December 2021.

In 2022, Godfrey took a new position with a non-profit organization called Road to Hire. His first role was as a professional development manager, focusing on teaching professional development skills to apprentices in the organization’s apprenticeship program. In November 2023, he transitioned to his current role as a development associate. His responsibilities include managing data collection for donor management, ensuring accurate and proper management of donor records, monitoring and evaluating policies and procedures for fundraising best practices, and making recommendations for updates or new procedures. He also ensures proper donor acknowledgment, recognition, and stewardship through development plans, oversees the development of customer relationship management and supports development efforts set by the organization’s board, leadership, and development team.

When asked about the importance of his work, Godfrey said, “The importance of my role at Road to Hire is to ensure the sustainability of our organization’s programs through effective fundraising and donor relations. With the sustainability of our organization’s programs, the organization can continue to work toward ensuring underrepresented young adults have access to high-earning careers and prosperous futures through higher education and paid tech training”.

Godfrey working with Road To Hire co-worker

Looking back at the impact that NC State has had in his professional journey, Godfrey mentions the courses on program planning, development, and evaluation teaching him the skills of assessing needs, setting goals and objectives, and measuring outcomes. These skills have been applicable in various ways throughout his career and will continue to be important in his future professional journey. 

Godfrey also discusses studying abroad for a semester in Malaysia during his master’s studies. He acknowledges, “Studying abroad in Malaysia for one semester while pursuing my Master’s degree at NC State had a profound impact on me through the cross-cultural experience. The relationships I built with fellow students and others in Malaysia helped me learn to be open-minded, be an active listener, and learn from differences. Those are important skills that have served me well throughout my career so far”.

Looking back at his time at NC State, Godfrey highlighted two individuals who stood out and helped him. The first was Jay Jayaratne. Godfrey said, “He was a great professor and academic advisor. I am thankful for all I learned in his classes and our conversations where he gave me career advice.” The second individual was Maru Gonzalez. He said, “I really enjoyed her class when I was pursuing my YDL graduate certificate. She taught me ways to implement youth programs more equitably and inclusively. I was able to directly apply the skills I learned from her class to my work as a 4-H Agent, which improved the youth programs I was leading.”

Godfrey also acknowledges his children as his inspiration, “Being a father has given me a renewed motivation to strive every day to do my best and find joy in life every day. They inspire me to keep doing the nonprofit work I do in hopes that the impact of the work will play at least a small part in making the world a better place for them”.

Looking towards the future Godfrey sees himself continuing to work in the nonprofit sector in an operations role to help organizations to be equipped to accomplish their goals and vision in an efficient manner.