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Trimease Carter, Claflin University’s Outstanding Leader Under 40

Trimease Carter, a program officer at Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF), has been recognized as a member of Claflin University’s 2023 Cohort of Outstanding Leaders Under 40. She joins a select group of alumni who have received this honor. Since the university’s inaugural cohort in 2020, Claflin’s Office of Alumni Relations has recognized 80 alums as outstanding leaders in their profession and community. Honorees are chosen based on their career contributions and community impact. 

The Outstanding Leader Under 40 honoree shares her thoughts on what this recognition means to her, how her Claflin education informs her work as a program officer at CCCF, and how she positively impacts her community. 

What was your initial reaction when you learned you were a member of the 2023 Cohort of Outstanding Leaders Under 40? 

I was excited, humbled, and honored to learn that I was selected as a member of the 2023 Outstanding Leaders Under 40 Cohort. I’m connected to many Claflin alumni on social media platforms; therefore, I’m aware of the awesome things Claflin graduates are doing in their professions and communities. So, to be recognized as a leader among my peers is extremely rewarding. Working in a field where it’s your “job” to respond to the needs of your community and the people that live in it, I don’t know that there are many opportunities for recognition, so this award has allowed me to take a step back and reflect on how I have and can continue to contribute. 

How have you applied what you learned at Claflin to your current position at Central Carolina Community Foundation? 

I’m grateful for the ways Claflin helped nudge me out of my comfort zone and into leadership roles. I learned so much while there through experiences such as being a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, working with Upward Bound and Project Life PosiTeen, winning Miss Freshman, interning with the Southern Education Foundation, and spending time on the yard with people who’ve become lifelong friends.  

While at Claflin University, I developed what we Claflinites call “Claflin Confidence.” Claflin’s website states, “It’s hard to define, but you’ll know it when you see it – as will future colleagues and employers. It’s about independence and self-reliance. It’s about thinking critically and analytically, acting ethically, and getting in touch with your inner visionary. Claflin Confidence is the result of the years you spend here being challenged to aim higher than you could imagine and being mentored along your journey.” I say all this to say that I demonstrate so much of what I learned at Claflin daily and at the Foundation through who I am as a person. 

Can you provide a specific example of how you have inspired, empowered, or embraced your community? 

I believe one of the best examples of how I’ve inspired, empowered, and embraced my community is through the equity lens that I apply to my work. I always try to consider who is being engaged and impacted (or not) at all levels, and I try to get others to do the same.