Newsmakers 2015: Jeanette Klobe

Jeanette Klobe (Glenn Landberg)

Jeanette Klobe has been with the Perry County Community Task Force since it began as a grassroots effort in 1995. After 20 years of service, she retired as the organization's director in July, but continues to work as a consultant.

Before helping launch the organization, Klobe was a math teacher in Perry County. She saw how many students were falling through the cracks and wanted to do more to help.

So, she left teaching to take a job that didn't yet have any funding.

"It's a Catch-22. You have to get grants first, and you can't get grants without those programs going," she says.

The task force has 10 programs, all of which help youths in Perry County. The programs help them make healthy decisions about substances, offer mentoring for at-risk students from kindergarten through 12th grade, provide assistance to those ages 16 to 24 who dropped out of high school and more.

Klobe says her son was born with special needs, and she became a volunteer advocate in the community.

"I've always felt every person has dignity and worth and value," she says. "And we need to help them become the best they can possibly be. That was the driving force behind getting all this started."