Claire Bove is the newest addition to the Middlebury UVM Extension office, hired in February as the Vermont Coordinator for the High School Equivalency Program (HEP).  HEP helps eligible migrant and seasonal farm workers and members of their immediate family obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma, and subsequently gain employment or pursue postsecondary education.

All participants receive a free tablet and access to online curriculum available in both English and Spanish, which enables program participants to complete an individualized and self-paced course of study in preparation for passing the GED exam.  This is a new program offered in partnership with the other New England states of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and Claire will be working hard to build these partnerships and to recruit students across the state in hopes of graduating 20 Vermont individuals a year.

Claire isn’t totally new to UVM Extension or to the Vermont farmworker population, as she has been working with the Migrant Education and Bridges to Health Programs as a Recruiter and Health Promoter since last summer.  The Migrant Education Program provides free educational support services, English classes and life skills training to eligible children and youth who work or whose families work in seasonal or temporary agriculture.  Bridges to Health is a health outreach program that offers care coordination and supports health care access for migrant farmworkers in Vermont.  Claire has enjoyed the opportunity to provide farmworkers with valuable access to education and healthcare resources through her work with these UVM Extension programs, and she is excited to pursue this new opportunity with the High School Equivalency program and to continue serving the Vermont farmworker community.

Claire grew up in Brandon, VT and completed her undergraduate studies at UVM focusing on biology and Spanish. She has since lived in Austin, TX, Chicago, IL and multiple locations in Spain, and has spent time cooking professionally, studying to be a sommelier (wine steward), teaching English, and working in research.  She is now happily settled in Cornwall, VT with her husband and young son, where she enjoys being outdoors, gardening, cooking for friends and family, and fishing.

More info about farm worker programs through Extension: http://www.uvm.edu/extension/agriculture/farmworker

Claire can be reached at 802-388-4969 x 338 or claire.bove@uvm.edu