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Meet The Try This WV Team

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Brittney Barlett (she/her)

Try This WV Executive Director 

Brittney Barlett came on as Executive Director of Try This WV in September of 2020. She lives in Weston with her husband, nephew, and pack of pets, where she is active with local volunteerism. A former high-school English teacher, she is passionate about healthy-community activities and inspiring new leaders. Her favorite part of her work is watching others achieve more than they thought they could, and how those accomplishments can change the course of their lives forever. In her spare time, she can always be found doing something incredibly nerdy.


Deanna Palmer (she/her)

Executive Director, Lewis County Family Resource Network

Try This Fiscal Sponsor

Deanna signed up to coordinate the fiscal management of Try This funding, but she has been much more, a source of constant encouragement. A Weston resident and mother of two boys, she also directs the statewide alliance of FRNs and oversees 52 other programs for Lewis County that benefit low-income people.

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Melissa Young (she/her)

Try This WV Programs Coordinator

Mel lives in South Charleston WV. She loves her kids, video games, and all things science fiction.  She is passionate about what Try This WV does and discovering new ways to create a healthy WV.


Laura Anderson (she/her)

Try This WV Organizer

Laura is an active mother of 4 from Lewis County, WV and a collector of stories. She joined Try This in 2020 as an AmeriCorps serving in Central WV Region. As the Try This WV Organizer she is looking forward to connecting folk, sharing the stories of projects and growing new partnerships throughout the state. 

2022-2023 AmeriCorps Members

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Lexi Carder (she/her)

Mid-Ohio Valley Region

Lexi Carder is a returning AmeriCorps member with Try This WV from the 2020-2021 year. She is currently an online graduate student through WVU working on her masters in Integrated Marketing Communications with an emphasis in Creative Strategy... which she knows is a mouthful. Lexi lives in Saint Marys with her boyfriend and four dogs. Above all, she is looking forward to rekindling the connections she made with the community members and minigrant partners she met in the Mid-Ohio Valley and seeing what else Try This can help create to make our communities healthier.

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Lisa Gum (she/her)

Central WV Region

Lisa Gum grew up in Buckhannon, WV where she planted deep roots in the community. Her background in speech-language pathology and education guided her to be of service to others to help create connections for people working for a safe and just society. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in Anthropology and Social Change at CA Institute of Integral Studies, where her research thesis centers on resilience of WV people. She serves the Central WV region as an AmeriCorps volunteer and has big ideas for improving people’s lives through access to healthy foods, water, and physical activities, especially for people with disabilities.

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Sarah Hott (she/her)

Eastern WV Region

Sarah Hott lives in Augusta, in Hampshire County. She has a background in education and library services. Sarah has been a dedicated school and community volunteer for many years. She is excited to collaborate with others in the Eastern Panhandle on creative projects to promote wellness in West Virginia. 

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Jamie O'Hare (she/her)

Northern Panhandle Region

An Indiana native, Jamie O'Hare has been a resident of Wheeling, WV, for 12 years. With a background in English and Special Education, she uses her skills to advocate for children and adults with disabilities. She is passionate about helping people develop personal resilience and stability. Jamie previously served as an Americorps VISTA for The FunRaiser Urban Mobile Playground. She is a wife to a recent WVU Law grad and a mom of four older kids, two of whom are autistic.

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Leigh Pennington (she/her)

Kanawha Valley Region

Leigh Pennington, MPH is an experienced public health educator, consultant, and public speaker who specializes in Public Health Education and ADHD education. She is an Alumna of Marshall University, where she graduated with a B.S. in Health Science and a Master of Public Health. She is also a CHADD certified, ADHD educator and has spent much of her career working to understand Neurodivergence and how it affects our lives. Leigh lives with her husband, Jesse, and their two children, Manny and Maggie, in the Village of Barboursville, West Virginia. While she loves West Virginia and her community, she still hasn't let go of her roots, which run deep in the soil of Northeastern Kentucky. She and her family spend much of their family time enjoying the mountains and rivers found in their Appalachian home.

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Cassie Wiley (she/they)

Southern WV Region

Hurricane resident Cassandra Wiley started with Try This in 2021 and is serving Southern WV as a second-year AmeriCorps volunteer. Member of a local sustainable-farming community, she loves intentional gardening, experimenting with new foods, and is determined to apply herself in bringing people together for a healthier, happier West Virginia.

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