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St. Louis, MISSOURI NWIAA CHAIRPERSON 

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Juhna Payton

My name is Juhna Payton, I was born and raised in Chicago, IL, on May,29,1988. I grew up in the foster care system totaling 10 foster homes and two group homes. I have always had the passion in me to help other youth like myself. I attended Western Illinois University, and majored in Law Enforcement Justice Administration. I began working in the same group home I once lived in. Soon after I started working at the Juvenile Detention Center as, a Juvenile Detention Officer. Working with the at-risk youth there was so rewarding. I helped them navigate through the tough times and was able to connect through some of my own experiences, while in the system.                                                                                                                

      In 2017, I moved from Chicago to Topeka, Kansas to work at Topeka Woman’s Prison as an Corrections Officer. After that, I was promoted to Parole Officer for Kansas City, where I learned the other side of the court system. After working with adults, I returned to work with at-risk youth as a Case Manager for a homeless youth shelter. Next, I was employed by Job Corps as a Residential Counselor, where I ran a dorm with 108 girls from the ages of 16-25 years old. Even up till this day I sill mentor some of the young girls who have turned into young adults. I was soon hired by Kansas City Public Schools as a Drop Out Prevention Specialist/Truancy Officer. It has been amazing to be a part of the great transformation of improved attendance by connecting the students, parents, teachers with great dropout prevention strategies. I strongly believe that, when we put our youth first we are putting our future first.

Contact Email:  juhnap@gmail.com (816) 491-1011 

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Brandi Ortega

Brandi Ortega, is sole proprietor of Marry Pottin's Supply, LLC, a woman-owned small business that produces hemp and CBD products. Located in Archie, Missouri, Brandi is well-known for serving her local community; she is an active member of her local cannabis and hemp community groups, and she is often one of the first to respond when

newly-diagnosed cancer patients ask for natural solutions.
   

   A dedicated mother-turned-businesswoman, Brandi first became interested in cannabis-based medicine when searching for solutions for the youngest of her two children, a ten-year-old special needs son. Through extensive planning with her son's pediatrician, Brandi successfully weaned her son off of almost a dozen medications, and now, at fourteen years old, he has been switched exclusively to cannabis and hemp treatment. In the process of all of this, Brandi recognized a need in the community for more accessible hemp products, and so Marry Pottin's Supply, LLC was born.
   

   Brandi struggled in school as a child due to a learning disability, and at 15, she dropped out to take care of her father after he suffered a horrible accident. Despite the difficulty of watching her mother work as the family's sole provider, Brandi's life motto is simple and filled with passion: "Kindness is Contagious". This mindset governs everything about her life and business--including the many donations of CBD and CBG she makes to patients in need. 
   

   Though Marry Pottin's Supply, LLC is a relatively young Missouri hemp producer, Brandi and her team are building a name for themselves both in business and in character. As Brandi herself has said, "I feel through kindness and love we can make our communities safer and happier."

Contact Info: brandiortega3333@gmail.com. (816) 406-8078

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