Host organization: The Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities
Noran Sanford will work to convert closed prisons in impoverished regions of rural North Carolina into sustainable farms and educational centers that serve youth, returning veterans, and others from the surrounding regions.
Sanford is a licensed clinical social worker and founder of growingforchange.org, where his work to explore innovative ways of “flipping” closed prisons in rural areas has already garnered significant interest among a range of stakeholders and media. He has dedicated the last 15 years of his professional life to serving the needs of youth and family in southern North Carolina, primarily those involved in the juvenile justice system. He is past president of the board of directors of the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center of Scotland County (NC) and currently sits on the board of the Hospice of Scotland County, having also served as volunteer clinic coordinator and director of the Hospice’s summer camp for grieving children. Sanford received his master’s degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was the recipient of the School of Social Work’s Leadership Award.