Jennifer King Congleton
For Jennifer King Congleton, life’s most persistent and urgent question is “what are you doing for others?”
Born in Washington, NC, Congleton was raised in a family which modeled the Biblical injunction, “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” Her extended family included educators and small business owners, all of whom actively served their community.
Her childhood experiences of joining in efforts to helping those less fortunate ignited a passion for altruism that came to define her life.
Congleton’s desire to help others continued to grow during her years as a student at East Carolina University. Committed to various social justice issues that dealt with health, poverty, and economic security, she joined the Theta Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and currently serves in Iota Kappa Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a civic sorority made up of a diverse group of educated women. In addition to working on campus, she served two years as a mid-Atlantic programming chair, coordinating with campus chapters to ensure program initiatives were being delivered to local communities in a meaningful way, and gaining foundational knowledge and leadership skills she continues to use today.
She graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in public health and began a career as a family planning health educator. Returning to ECU, she earned her master’s degree in adult education in 1981 and accepted a job at Beaufort County Community College as director of admissions and four years later began a career at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, now Vidant Medical Center, in Greenville, NC. She is currently director of volunteer services, managing the hospital’s chaplain services and approximately 345 volunteers.
She is the president of the Wilson-Rocky Mount-Tarboro Chapter of The Links Inc. Through The Links, she works with other African American female civic leaders to bring a variety of programs to the local community, from promoting the arts to advancing breast cancer awareness.
In addition, by bringing together her involvement in AKA – where she has served locally, regionally and internationally – with The Links, and her church, Cornerstone Missionary Baptist, Congleton is able to help bring more assistance to those in need than any organization, working alone, could provide.
Congleton believes we have been put on this earth to serve others and has dedicated her entire life to using her talents, gifts, and resources for that purpose. Her philosophy of life is, “If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or a song, then my living is not in vain.”
By April Carroll