02/05/06 — Retired state employee awarded Long Leaf Pine

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Retired state employee awarded Long Leaf Pine

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on February 5, 2006 2:08 AM

Brenda Britt, a retired state employee with the Department of Prisons and Community Corrections, has been named a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Gov. Mike Easley.

Ms. Britt, a Goldsboro resident who retired in December after 28 years with the state, earned the distinction through her contributions to the community, said Jill Lucas, a deputy press secretary in the office of Gov. Easley.

The award is the highest civilian honor in the state and is bestowed upon individuals who have a proven record of service to North Carolina.

Ms. Britt served as an intensive probation and parole officer in Pamlico County from 1994 until 1996, which led to her becoming the chairman of the Pamlico County Criminal Justice Department Board. In that position, she spearheaded a plan to build a new facility in Pamlico County with help from criminal justice partnership grants. The effort was successful and Pamlico became one of the few counties in North Carolina with multiple treatment services for offenders housed in the same facility.

She said she appreciated the opportunities her job gave her to make a difference in people's lives.

"I just feel fortunate to be out here, and I hope I was a positive role model for someone or their family," she said.

As chief probation parole officer for Lenoir County, Ms. Britt got her staff involved in volunteer initiatives such as helping the county's Council on Aging meal delivery program. In Wayne County, she has been an active participation in the county's Relay for Life program. The event to raise money to battle cancer has a special meaning for her. She has beaten cancer herself and lost a loved one to the disease.

"Being a cancer survivor and losing my father to cancer in 1999 gave me a lot of initiative to do Relay for Life," Ms. Britt said.

She said she was surprised at learning she had been recognized by the governor.

"It really surprised me when I received it. It's a great honor," she said.

Ms. Britt said she plans to continue volunteering her time to help others.

"I want to stay involved in the community, something beneficial that can allow me to give back to the community. I'm still young. My career's not going to stop. I hope to come up on something and continue to work in the public sector."