Jacquelyn B. Covington
Charter Member, Sandhills Alumnae Chapter
Sandhills Alumnae Chapter continues our 2023 Women's History Month Trailblazer Series honoring a charter member that is near and dear to us. Mrs. Jacquelyn B. Covington was our first President of Sandhills Alumnae Chapter of which she was instrumental in chartering 14 years ago.
Mrs. Covington is a proud graduate of Livingston College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and minored in French. She earned her Master of Science in Guidance and
Counseling from NC A & T State University, Go Aggies!
Mrs. Covington is a member of Long Leaf AME Zion Church where she serves as Mother of the
Church, church secretary, president of various boards and clubs and church musician. She has been a faithful member of Long Leaf her entire life. She was an associate member of Trinity AME Zion Church for 5 years when she resided in Southern Pines, NC when her Livingstone classmate, Bishop Monroe was pastor there. At one time, she served as district leader of the Girl Scouts but now serves as District Representative of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women.
She is married to Jimmy Covington, and they have been together for 50 years. They have 2 biological children, 3 adopted children, 15 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Her and her husband have been therapeutic foster parents for over 25 years and have served in that capacity to over 55 children.
One of her most rewarding experiences is her current teaching position at MINA Charter school. She teaches ELA to 4th graders.
Mrs. Covington is a licensed clinical addiction specialist and continues to serve as a part time clinician at M.E. Greenhouse. Early in her career she served as a social worker for many years. She is an Eastern Star, a member of the NAACP, has been a therapeutic foster parent for over 30 years, member of North Carolina Association of Counselors, National Association of Teachers, and is currently completing her dissertation to obtain her Ph.D in Counseling.
Her greatest joy is serving others!! Her favorite scripture was one taught to her by her grandmother, Rev. Mary D. Shamberger, 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people, which are called by my name. shall humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
We are asking each of our trailblazers to give us their perspective on women in leadership. Here’s what Mrs. Covington shared:
Who is the most influential woman you know or look up to?
“The most influential woman I looked up to was my grandmother, Rev. Mrs. Mary D. Shamberger. She raised me. She was a trailblazer in her own right. She was a missionary and a pastor. She would have the epitome of a true Delta. She prospered in love and life with just a 7th grade education. That never stopped her from being the amazing community member she was!! She had me completing community service probably before I could walk. Community service was her life so it became mine not knowing I would be fortunate enough to become a member of the illustrious sorority whose major focus is serving others.”
What have been your barriers and how did you overcome them?
“My health has probably been my biggest barrier in the last 20 years. It’s caused me to have to step back from many endeavors that I had planned to pursue such as some leadership roles in my life. I overcame them by being thankful that things were as well as they are. I am grateful for what l am and have been able to do. I adopted the “Serenity Prayer” as my mantra…”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
”What makes you a good leader?
“That’s a good question, I’m not really sure I ever considered asking myself that question, however, I hope my integrity, my sincerity, my love, kindness for and willingness to help others and my honesty all lend to making me a good leader.”
What advice do you have for young women who want to be in a leadership position?
“In whatever area of leadership you are interested in pursuing, be it education, business, a sorority, or your church, or any other area, preparation is essential. It is important that you learn as much as you can, prepare yourself, know yourself! Make sure that the roles you are pursuing are what fit your personality and that you are pursuing the roles for the right reasons. Leadership is not always easy and you have to have wisdom, patience, understanding and a caring spirit to be a good leader. You also have to be willing to work.”
Why do we need more women in leadership?
“Because for so long, it’s been viewed as a man’s world. Women have and continue to bring such an array of wonderful contributions to the world. It’s time for women to be recognized for the many diverse roles they play in society. Women have been in the background and supported our communities for many generations and it’s imperative that they now be recognized and given credit for their immense gifts.”
Soror Covington, thank you for your candid, but honest and real conversation about women in leadership as one of the trailblazers who chartered our chapter.