Mary Helen Jones served as a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for the NC Cooperative Extension in Vance County for 17 years.  For the last three years of that time she was also County Extension Director.  Mary Helen’s passions were programs related to improving the lives of children.  First, she fashioned a conference for child care workers of both daycare homes and centers.  Next, she started a program to teach families to prepare healthy, well-balanced meals for their children.  Then she started the in-home breastfeeding program to give new moms support to give babies the best start.  Finally, she began the Parenting Task Force out of which grew parenting programs which still run today.  Three of these programs were deemed so successful that other agencies took over the funding and operation of them.  A generation of children in Vance County are better off today than they would have been without Mary Helen.