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National Urban Extension Leaders

Get engaged with NUEL! The National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) began in 2013 as a grass-roots effort of a group of passionate and committed urban Extension educators with the mission to advocate and advance the strategic importance and long-term value of urban Extension activities by being relevant locally, responsive statewide, and recognized nationally.

Nicole Debose’s Awards Information: Cuyahoga County Extension Director in Cleveland, OH.


Nicole D. Debose, MPA, MHA

Area Leader – OSU Extension, Cuyahoga County

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning, Design and Development, a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management, and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration with a concentration in Informatics.

Nicole joined OSU Extension in 2015 as the Cuyahoga County Extension Director in Cleveland, OH.

Prior to joining OSU Extension, Nicole worked for Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services, where she developed and managed many community-based programs and initiatives. She had more than 15 years of experience working with nonprofit and public organizations to meet the needs of Cuyahoga County residents. In those 15 years she led various strategic planning processes for local initiatives. Provided technical assistance to non-governmental and governmental organizations in the areas of program development and evaluation. She had extensive budget development and monitoring skills along with being well-versed in policy development and analysis. Nicole consistently managed over $2 million annually in contracts for community programming and
new initiatives.

Nicole’s administrative experience, along with her knowledge of local critical issues and commitment to Northeast Ohio are in accord with the vision for the Cuyahoga County Ohio State University Extension Office. She has always been an advocate of innovative programming and trying to develop new ways to reach residents of Cuyahoga County. Nicole serves as the first black Director for Cuyahoga County’s Extension office, an honor she takes seriously by making sure OSU Extension programs make everyone feel welcome and free to be their authentic selves. Nicole with the Dean of the College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University who was a keynote speaker at the 2018 National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals conference.Nicole served as a panelist and leader for the 2017 How to Combat Food Insecurity in Ohio event

Summary of Cuyahoga County Impact Highlights with Nicole’s Leadership

Strengthen Communities

  • Strong partnerships with the County and with the City of Cleveland
  • 191 active Master Gardeners – Volunteers served 13,348 volunteer hours (with a value of $339,440) which contributed to the community

Protect the Environment

  • Partnership with the Cuyahoga County Sustainability Office, Case Western Reserve Sweetland Center for Environmental Health, Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau, and Cuyahoga County Soil & Water
  • 650 individuals were instructed on agricultural and natural resources topics during 2019

Improve Our Health

  • Nicole is an advocate of innovative programming to reach residents of Cuyahoga County in new ways. With her support, FCS and CD piloted a farmer’s market-based nutrition incentive program serving WIC recipients, the first of its kind in Ohio, and one of the first in the country.
  • 1,121 direct nutrition education programs were delivered in 2019 and 11,846 additional participants were reached through indirect programs such as community events, newsletters, and health fairs
  • 17,398 participants were reached through direct nutrition SNAP-ED education programs
  • Cuyahoga County 4-H received a Cardinal Health Care grant that enabled staff to deliver Generation Rx drug prevention lessons to more than 900 youth

Enrich Youth

  • Cuyahoga County 4-H served more than 10,500 youth in 2019 (300 in community clubs and over 10,000 within in-school and after-school programs). There were 214 4-H youth and adult volunteers in 2019.
  • In-school and after-school programming includes: STEM, financial literacy, bullying, drug awareness and prevention; Agri-Science, outdoor recreation, leadership, advocacy, and service learning
  • Celebrated 20 years of the Youth Outdoors program. A collaboration between OSU Extension, City of Cleveland, and Cleveland Metroparks
  • 4-H staff provided programming during the National Youth Sports program at Case Western Reserve in June 2019. Programming included 4-H Food Science lessons to 120 youth during a 4-week period and a Drone program, (part of the Rover Drone Grant) for more than 500 youth. During the drone program, youth learned how to fly drones, explored drone technology and careers, and created seed bombs to seed fields within a drone obstacle course.
  • Cuyahoga County’s 4-year partnership with NASA continues to grow. The 3rd annual 4-H Open House was attended by 4-H families from Cuyahoga and seven surrounding counties. During the last three years more than 600 4-H’ers visited NASA during the Open House events.
  • With the support of Cuyahoga County 4-H, youth traveled to the National STEM conference in D.C.
  • The 4-H Youth Advocacy and Leadership Coalition (YALC) celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The grant funded program provides avenues for youth ages 13-18 from anywhere in the county to develop leadership, advocacy, and service-learning skills through group projects.
  • AgriScience in the City served 292 students in six Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools during the 2018-19 school year

Feed the Future

  • Leads a variety of healthy-food-access initiatives in Cleveland
  • Cuyahoga County Extension has coordinated Cleveland’s Community Gardening Program for 42 years
  • Since 2016, Produce Perks Midwest has convened the Ohio Nutrition Incentive Network (OHNIN), a partnership of Ohio healthy food retailers, producers, state agencies, national experts, and local partners working toward a shared vision of affordable access to healthy, local foods. In 2019 more than 1,300 families


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