LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Constance Peterson

Position: Guidance Couselor
School: Gifford Middle School
School District: School District of Indian River County
City, State: Vero Beach, FL

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Constance Peterson was nominated by her friend, Vannette Woulard.

"I've known Mrs. Peterson for over 25 years, but I got to know her more professionally when my son was in ninth grade," explains Woulard. "She wasn't only a great friend, but a great colleague. She played a very instrumental part in the lives of my son and I by helping to prepare him for college. Not only was she a great mentor to him, but she allowed me to become a more involved parent."

Mrs. Peterson established an Achievers In Action group at the local high school. She mentored over 50 students a year and guided them through their years in high school and on to graduation. This included yearly college trips during spring break, as well as helping students find summer job opportunities and acquire community service projects and hours. All of these ventures were accomplished while she was still a teacher.

When she transitioned to the middle school and obtained her Master's degree in counseling, she continued her work preparing students for high school. She has currently branched out to make it an afternoon business. The number of students and parents she has impacted is in the hundreds, and she still keeps up with many of them to this day.

In addition to all of these accomplishments, she is a mother of three and the wife of a local pastor. Mrs. Peterson has also made a great impact on her local community, along with her husband. They give support and love in so many capacities, including fundraisers for local events, as well as making donations for relief in Haiti and the Bahamas.

"She gives 100% of herself and her time without hesitation. It's with great humility that I am honored to call her a great friend and nominate her as a LifeChanger of the Year," said Woulard.



Comments (36)


Elizabeth Johnson Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Constance is Amazing!!!!!! I met her a month ago, and I participated in Career Day at the middle school. I know she is a hard worker, and makes a impact not only in her school, but in the lives of the children she comes in contact with everyday. She is so deserving of this award. Congratulations Ms.Constance

Donna Hedgecock Posted 4 months ago

This nomination is definitely well deserved. I met Constance in 2005 when she was on the panel to hire me as the Teen Parent Coordinator for our school district. I have had the honor and pleasure of working with her over the past 17 years and have never found a person more willing to go out of her way for a student. She has only their best interest and success at heart and is one of the best people I know at creating and maintaining meaningful relationships with students. Every student she comes in contact with truly knows that she cares about them and wants them to succeed. She puts her entire heart and soul into every single project she takes on....and does she take them on!! From teen parents, middle school counseling to Achievers in Action, to Multicultural Club and now her own Purpose Driven Youth Organization, Connie cannot be stopped. Our community is blessed to have such an outstanding, committed and loving woman as Constance Peterson.

Carlean Posted 6 months ago

Amazing person in and out! Wonderful mother, counselor and community leader. Constance is the true definition of selfless. She places others before herself in ever capacity of life. She works countless hours to ensure the success of others while making sacrifices with no hesitation. She’s led our youth for decades as a teacher and program coordinator for clubs such as Achievers in Action. She’s a pioneer in her community working to launch community organizations such Community United IRC and Purpose Driven Youth. John Maxwell said “a great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position”. Constance “Connie” Peterson’s passion to influence and lead is undeniable no matter her position.

Courtney Adkins Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations on your nomination!

Yolondria Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations on your nomination. You are truly making a difference in the lives of our young boys and girls. Thank you for being an agent of change. ~Phil 4:13

Anna Rogers Posted 7 months ago

I’ve known Mrs. Peterson for a number of years. She taught my daughter when she was in middle school. Mrs. Peterson is a very caring educator who cares about the future of our children and I am thankful for her. Mrs. Peterson gives of her time and talents in the community wherever she can be of service to our youth as well as elderly. She is an inspiration to all of those who comes in contact with her. She is genuine and has a heart of gold. Thank you Mrs. Peterson for all you do!

Fran Jackson Posted 7 months ago

I’ve known you Mrs. Peterson for many years and every time I see something you’re doing, I always say, “there she goes again!” I love your commitment to the young folk and olde ones alike. You’re a light to the world and I love you! Congratulations on your nomination and know that you’re already a winner!??

LaDonna Corbin Posted 7 months ago

Mrs. Peterson, can’t say “thank you” enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life and my children's life I would not be the person I am today (with a FILTER) without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself. You have taught me that you don’t always have to strong by your self......we have a village. You are allowed to fail as long as you pick yourself back up and keep moving forward to success. Many don’t believe in things happening for a reason so I can believe for everyone, that you were brought into my life for a reason and I am here to ride this journey and watch you succeed. You are the founding block for Gifford and we stand with you for the change.

Kevin Browning Posted 7 months ago

Connie Peterson has long been a strong and active force for children, using her positions during and after work to support kids who may not have a chance. She volunteers time, talent and money and is constantly encouraging others in helping kids. She was a long-time leader of Achievers in Action, a high school group, taking many kids to colleges and on trips in order to give them a vision for their futures. She speaks for those who can’t speak for themselves and those who otherwise might not be heard. There are countless students and families whose lives that have been changed for the better. Many times people do things and are forgotten, but her work has spoken volumes and lives through the accomplishments she helped others to reach.

Natalie Sanders Posted 7 months ago

Mrs. Connie Peterson is definitely a Life Changer especially for the youth in the Gifford Community. She also keeps parents informed of deadlines for everything involving our children. I am so proud of her because she not only works a full time job as a Guidance Counselor in the Indian River County School District, is a Pastor's wife, and has started her own non-profit to help our youth further their education after high school. Amazing does not begin to describe Mrs. Peterson! I want her to know that we appreciate ALL she does for our youth. She is a great role model with Christian values which is so important for both adults as well as youth! Thank you sister Connie!

Larrissa Posted 7 months ago

Great choice for this honor; Connie has dedicated her life to being a life changer in the lives of our youth. Her track record and history are evident of this honor. She is the best candidate I know of in Indian River County.

Carol Pinder Posted 7 months ago

Keep up the good work! I appreciate all you do for the youth of our community!

Tonya Robinson-McDonald Posted 7 months ago

Mrs. Peterson is more than a Life Changer she’s a Lifesaver of The Youth in her community as well as other surrounding communities, she goes over and beyond her God Given Talents and Ability to help others see the best in themselves by encouraging these youth to graduate from high school, go on to college to receive a good education reach back to offer a helping hand to others , she teaches and instill values and morals into the youth by teaching and demonstrating on how being the solution in your community not being the problem , she teaches these young people about being valuable on their jobs with training of skills to ,proper work ethics that their employers will see them as being trustworthy, dependable ,responsible and most of all respectable on the job and in their communities. Mrs. Peterson not only serves the youth in her community but she serves the elderly citizens in and throughout surrounding communities as well by rendering services to the elderly that may have been forgotten she organizes holidays baskets for these seniors yearly for Thanksgiving & Christmas , personal need baskets she does this effortlessly from her own finances with few donations from other citizens in the community she never complains about assisting anyone young or old and still manages to have time for her moderate size family and serving in her own church as a Bishops Wife ,Youth Director and Choir member along with holding down a full time job as a middle school guidance counselor she is always someone that will go the extra mile to help you in anyway possible so I know that this award should go to an individual like Mrs Constance (Connie )Peterson someone who give’s herself effectively and effortlessly to others without expecting nothing in return she wears many hats and does it so gracefully. This why I nominate Mrs. Constance ( Connie ) Peterson for this LifeChanger Of The Year Award

Debra Wiseman Posted 7 months ago

I’ve known Constance Peterson my entire life. She has always been an inspiration to me as she helped me conquer many life obstacles. She’s an inspiration to all especially our youth. Constance is not selfish and give all she can to help others. She sees a need , she fulfills that need. She sees a problem , she creates a solution. She is the true meaning of “it takes a village”. She is the “voice” for those who needs to be heard. Her goal is to see EVERY youth that comes into her path become successful men and women in society. She sacrifices a lot to turn that goal Into reality. Constance gives to the community as a whole. For example ,she was part of the Juneteenth celebration in our community . Herself along with other committee members made sure the youth of the community had the necessities for Back to School. Not only does Constance ensure our youth are well taken care of, she does the same for the elders of our community. Once again , when there’s a need, she is sure to full fill it. She’s an inspiration to all, young and old I will always be gratefully for Constance and love her dearly.

Felice Bagley Posted 7 months ago

Mrs. Peterson is one of the most organized, dedicated, supportive people I know. She is a leader in the community and is always advocating for her students. She spends so much time and effort to make sure our young adults achieve academic success and become successful citizens. Mrs.Peterson is definitely a life changer!

Christina Moore Posted 7 months ago

Counselor Connie Peterson is professional, dedicated, highly skilled, intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She exudes excellence and personifies diligence and compassion towards our youth and the community, through selfless service and volunteering. I call her the Facebook Guidance Counselor for our area as she keeps us informed. She is worthy of the nomination of Life Changer of the Year award.

Marsha Roberts Posted 7 months ago

Mrs. Peterson has been a blessing in my life from our first interaction. I was selected to be in her Achievers in Action program when I was in 9th grade. Throughout the program, she helped us in many ways, from volunteering to college prep. She taught us how to be respectful to not only others, but to ourselves. I learned how to speak up for myself and to advocate for what is right. Each spring break Mrs. Peterson organized a trip for her Achievers in Action students to go on college tours and visit historic sites. Thanks to her, I was able to view colleges beyond Florida, I four other states. She also made us aware of all scholarship opportunities. This way, I was able to graduate with my Bachelor's degree and 7 technical certificates, free off charge. Mrs. Peterson is an amazing person all around. She is spiritual, helpful and is a great role model. There are many people that help you when you're in high school but leaves you when you're an adult. I can say that even as an adult, Mrs. Peterson has not left my side!

Evetta M Posted 7 months ago

Constance is doing an AMAZING job preparing our future leaders! She is passionate about helping kids and she does everything she can to make sure all kids have a chance for a successful future. Meeting Constance has been inspiring for me! She makes me want to go the extra mile for kids! I definitely think she is a LifeChanger of the Year.

Latoya Tellis Posted 7 months ago

Mrs Connie Peterson is so dedicated and passionate about the success of our children. Mrs Peterson is the counselor that EVERY student can truly depend upon. She is always motivating the youth to have the courage and tenacity to continue with what goals they have set forth in life. I truly thank her for the successful impact that she contribute to my oldest son (Emile) success and the wonderful involvement she is now contributing to my younger son (Derrick). Mrs Peterson has/is given her heart and soul to make a positive difference in our community. She is well deserving of the life changer of the year award.

Debbie Johnson Posted 7 months ago

You deserve this and more. You have a heart made of gold. You are NEVER to busy to help anyone. Thank you. I love you. I appreciate you. Also I congratulate you. May God continue to Bless you

Alyric Wynn Posted 7 months ago

Ms. Peterson has been such an inspiration and big help to me since the 8th grade. She always made sure that if I needed her help she would be there and made sure that I’m on the right track in school and outside of school doing any volunteering around our community. She cares so much about us students and her community to make sure that everyone and everything is ok that is why she is such a leader to me. Thank you Mrs. Peterson!!??

Lashebra Tellis Posted 7 months ago

Mrs. Connie Peterson is such an great asset to our community. It is nothing that she wouldn’t do for anyone! She has helped my daughter in numerous of ways and is greatly appreciated. My daughter started out with her in middle school with Achievers and Action back in 2018 and is currently with her in Purpose Driven Youth. She is well deserving of this nomination. We love you Mrs. Peterson.

Kimberly Boykin Posted 7 months ago

I've literally known Connie Peterson my entire life and can honestly say she is the children's champion. She works tirelessly to make sure that students are prepared for success and that no stone is unturned. She listens to parents concerns and has a way of making you feel that whatever the issue is, that it's US against the problem, because she's now invested in helping come up with a solution. Connie has helped my kids prepare by making sure they were aware of all scholarships, making sure that their GPA was on point, by taking them on college tours so they see what their options are and that the world is literally theirs for the taking, if they so choose. Because of her support, we our blessed to have a Lawyer and a Human Service Specialist in the family. Your family is her family and she expects what you expect for your children. I am honored to show my support for someone who makes it seem so flawless, her love for the children, her love for the community, just her love. LifeChanger of the Year, definitely is Mrs. Connie Peterson.

Keith Pierce Posted 7 months ago

Excellence and Heart is what drives Constance Peterson. She is driven to help, motivate and celebrate all people, no matter who. She always does this in the school system, family, church, friends and community. Constance has blessed the lives of many and for the better. I as a classmate have felt her support decades after high school graduation. She has been there through several deaths in my family even recently. Life changer and renewed. Well deserved Lifechanger of the year.

Tyrese Simmons Posted 7 months ago

Where do I start, I believe I was a junior in high school and was lost when it came to college. I really had no prior knowledge, because few of my family had been to college. That’s when Mrs. Peterson informed me of a resume workshop she was having. Coming in I barely new what I a resume was, after I left with a full resume, a list of potential colleges I was going to apply for, scholarships to apply for, etc. It may not seem like much but to me it was the world because without that guidance I wouldn’t be where I am today. I never realized how much I did and things I had accomplished till than, it gave me more of a sense of confidence. I am currently junior at Florida State University pursuing an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. I can positively say I am here today partially because Mrs. Peterson took the time to invest in the youth. For that I say, Thank you Mrs. Peterson!

Hazel Posted 7 months ago

She is a blessing to.me and our community

Chris Peterson Posted 7 months ago

One of the greatest leaders in the community! Does so much for the youth especially. A countless number of kids have gone to college because of her, some first generation college students!

Kimberly Y Massey-Persaud Posted 7 months ago

Constance Peterson has been and continues to be the "The Wind Beneath My Wings" for so many people. She inspires, educates, follows, gives, monitors and most of all prays with anyone that she can. Example, just a few months ago she met a young lady from another county and assisted her in getting enrolled in college as a part of her Purpose Driven Youth Program. She helped her to get scholarships and follows up frequently for continued support. This is what Constance Peterson does on a daily basis " Wind Beneath So Many People Wings" for the betterment of the world we live in. There are so many others with similar experiences as Constance Peterson has touched their lives.

Jody Posted 7 months ago

Mrs. Patterson is an innovative Guidance Counselor who goes above and beyond for the students at Gifford Middle, and in her community. She creates activities to facilitate and deliver them throughout the campus (ie- good choices, being kind, getting good grades, etc). She know the students very well, and even works with local organizations to help identify them for extra services to help and support additional needs they may have. Additionally, she also provide SAT/ACT Boot Camps after school and on the weekend free of charge to students. Basically, you can see by a few examples given, Mrs. Peterson has a passion and heart for kids. I appreciate her for the work that she does to help the students of Indian River County.

Valerie Brant-Wilson Posted 7 months ago

Connie Petterson is a community activist who loves advocating for students. The personal relationships Connie established with her students and parents underscore why her parents and students trust her. Her Facebook page posts are about alerting parents on how they can monitor their children's grades and behavior. It is also full of tips for parents and students. Mrs. Peterson is a life-changer in more ways than mentoring young people. Although she has established several youths organizations where young people can become achievers. She also has provided spiritual guidance for young women who need guidance through small self-help study groups at her church. These study groups are open to the public. If Mrs. Peterson is chosen, I'm confident that she is all and much more of what this recognition is designed to showcase. I'm so pleased that a former parent appreciated the commitment she gave to her child in helping him develop into the man he is today. Choosing Mrs. Peterson, you can't go wrong because she represents the best that America offers.

Shala Edwards Posted 7 months ago

Well deserved!!! Thank you for all you do with youth in Indian River County. You're ????

Canieria Gardner Posted 7 months ago

Congratulations, to Mrs Peterson she is a CHANGE Agent! Statistically, 63% of all Black Households in the State of Florida can not afford their basic life necessities, according to United Way of Florida. Also, statically only 10% of youth from low income households will graduate with their Bachelors degree by the age of 25, because of the barriers associated with living in a low income household, but their peers have a 90 % chance of graduating if they do not reside in a low income household. Most often, this results in a $33,000 income gap between the two groups, by the age of 35. But, Mrs Peterson works hard in a multitude of capacities across several communities to make a difference to change those startling statistics. The first community is education, in which she has counseled generations of children leaving a lasting impact. The second community is church, where she have taught generations of people the Bible and to live the Christian life. The third community is her hometown, where she provides disadvantaged low income youth tutoring and roadmaps to career pathways and post secondary education. She takes them to historical black colleges for tours, provide workshops on completing scholarship and college entry applications and provide support to the parents through the process of entering post secondary education. When these activists are done over time it will bring down crippling barriers to create effective long lasting change! Which will result in more low income youth graduating with their Bachelors before 25. And the domino affect of that is decreasing the income gap, increasing home ownership and increasing generational prosperity! Mrs Peterson has fostered real change through her lifetime which impacting generations now and to come!

Zeria Thomas Posted 7 months ago

Connie is a very sweet kind smart christian young lady.. All kids respect her. She's always trying to help everyone succeed. Whether they are young or old. We are very proud of her?I would like to nominate her as Life Changer of the Year

Gerrod Miller Posted 7 months ago

I have known Mrs. Peterson most of my life. She has always displayed a woman of character. She has been a advocate for our community and she has great rapport with her students. To define a life changer is having an effect that is strong enough to change someone's life: a life-changing decision/moment. She truly fits this description. She’s making a difference therefore, I highly recommend her to be the “Lifechanger of the year!”

April McGriff Posted 7 months ago

I can not think of someone more deserving than Constance Peterson. I have had the opportunity to see her grow for well over 20 years into the exemplary educator she is today. Constance has mentored many youth in her schools and community. She is not only an educator, she is the voice of the community, leading lady of her faith and positive example to her family and friends. She has volunteered to be the lead in many communities events and orchestrated fundraisers for hurricane relief. Constance shows love and compassion unconditionally. She gives to those unselfishly. I am beyond grateful to have such an amazing woman to look up to on a daily basis.

Jennifer Idlette Posted 7 months ago

Mrs Peterson gives 150% at all times! She truly cares about students & their well being. She develops positive relationships, sets high expectations.& create wonderful opportunities for students to participate in a variety of cultural & collegial activities. Connie gives of her time unselfishly & is always willing to step in & fill gaps as needed. She serves as a role model & vital asset to our school district & community. Mrs Peterson is super resourceful hosting community activities & informative sessions for students & parents in underserved areas. Where there is a will, Connie will certainly make a way! I personally cannot think of a more influential educator that deserves this recognition more than Mrs. Peterson.