Specialist Mindy Northcutt
Mindy Northcutt is a culture and prevention specialist working with the Define Your Direction program since 2019. With an applied science degree from Murray State College, pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and leadership from East Central University partnered with eight years working in public education, Mindy has dedicated her professional career to the education and improvement of the local community.
In her role as a prevention specialist, Mindy acts as a representative of the Define Your Direction program throughout Johnston and Murray counties. She coordinates community, data collection and cultural activities within those counties motivating participants of all ages to make positive choices. She encourages community members to choose to not use harmful substances like alcohol and prescription drugs. Mindy also works alongside tribal, local, county and state agencies to coordinate activities with existing substance abuse coalitions and is actively engaged with local schools to promote healthy lifestyles and educate students on the dangers of prescription drug misuse.
“I am deeply invested in the communities I serve with Define Your Direction. Working nearly a decade in public education before moving into this role has instilled a passion for educating and interacting with students, as well as their parents. Johnston County is the community where I grew up and have raised my children. This position has allowed me the ability to continue to stay connected to my community and my home. Working for the Chickasaw Nation under the Define Your Direction program has given me a sense of pride in the work I do. I have had the opportunity to be the ‘hands and feet’ of a program that is spreading awareness of the dangers of opioid misuse, and the opportunity to be a light for people who may think there is no way out of the darkness. Define Your Direction inspires and gives hope. I am so blessed to get to be a small part of that.”
Specialist Amber Walker
Amber Walker is a Culture and Prevention Specialist for the Chickasaw Nation working with Carter and Jefferson County. She serves these communities by working with the schools to coordinate various activities and events promoting pro-social activities and behaviors. This allows children and adults to focus their energy on something positive and helps educate on the dangers of drug abuse and the negative impacts it can cause to family and friends. She focuses on what would inspire the community and spread the most awareness of drug related dangers. Amber engages with the population through free DYD activities to create personal and long-lasting relationships that bring the communities together in a special way with hopes of making a difference for future generations to come. Outside of Define Your Direction, Amber is also a member of the Carter County Substance Abuse Prevention Committee, meeting once a month to discuss how they can best help the community lessen drug usage. Among her are citizens of various backgrounds to include police officers, parents, teachers, pharmacists and generally concerned citizens who all want to work together to make the community better for all. With a bachelor’s degree in Early Intervention and Child Development and current work on a master’s degree in the same field with an emphasis on Native Populations, Amber scholastic journey and experience makes her invaluable to the communities she serves.
“I enjoy serving the people of my communities and giving them something to experience by hosting various events within the counties. Some may not have the financial means for their families, so by hosting free events we are able to give them family time without having to worry about the cost. They also get to have free Define Your Direction merchandise and educational information about what we do. It is a win-win for families and friends to experience something great at no cost to them! My job is dear to my heart because I have personal experience with having family or friends involved with using opioids or other drugs. I have seen what this can do to families and how it can tear them apart. I feel if I can help someone turn their life around, whether that be adults or children. Gaining experience within my job and community has really made an impact on my life. All the time and effort I put into my community makes it all worth it in the end, making a difference is what matters to me.”
Specialist Courtney Evans
Courtney Evans is a Culture and Prevention Specialist for the Chickasaw Nation working with Garvin and Stephens County. She loves to be involved with her communities and educate families, individuals, and young adults about drug abuse/misuse. Courtney is part of the Allies for Better Living Committee in Pauls Valley that meet often to discuss new strategies for community engagement and improving the community’s perspective on what is important with drug abuse/misuse. She is also part of a committee in Duncan as well, expanding connections within the community to better understand the needs and goals. As she works closely with Define Your Direction, she engages with her communities in many ways, whether that be arts and crafts or other activities for all ages and providing incentives to the community when its needed most. Courtney takes pride in making a difference, with ambition and creativity. With an associate degree in Arts and General studies along with current work as a part-time student to receive her Environmental Health Science Degree, she is a powerful burst of energy with amazing talent and leadership.
“Everything that I do is to serve my community. I love to engage and interact, making a difference in a positive and effective way. Providing helpful information that can change someone’s life, making my communities stronger, more educated, and aware of the dangers about drug abuse. Define Your Direction promotes the importance of saying no and making good decisions when it comes to drug abuse/misuse. Families are impacted everyday by drug abuse, if I can make a difference by listening, encouraging, motivating the community, that’s what is most important to me.”