I learned a lot and I have filled many roles. I started out as a reading tutor, and then I moved to support a kindergarten classroom.
When the principal heard about me, he said, “I want to hire you! Be here Monday morning at eight o’clock.” So that’s what I did. I have enjoyed it so much that I stayed for 20 years.
During this time, I helped to establish the afterschool program, Friendship Cares. I supported it for many years while working with Michael Robinson and Gail Sivels. I also supported Gail with the Saturday program called Smart Cookies. I have been supportive in several various capacities over the years, and whenever anything needed to be done, I did it.
What have you found most rewarding?
Working with children at every level. I love supporting scholars and finding them what they need. One of my previous scholars who I met in first grade just graduated last year from high school with honors and I went to her going-away college party.
It is rewarding to see what can happen if you give kids time and love. The staff at Friendship genuinely embraces all children – it’s not just a job. Many have spent additional time with the kids and bought them clothes and food.
Friendship is a family. It’s something that you have to invest in, and that’s precisely the reason why I’ve been here for 20 years. It is deeply meaningful to know that I have touched so many lives. Kids always come back and say, “You’re still here!”
Now I tell them I am retiring and they reply, “But I have a grandchild that’s coming next year. Can’t you stay one more year?”
But it’s time to go. I’ve done a lot. I’ve learned a lot and it has been good. Friendship has been good to me. There are good people here who I will dearly miss when I leave
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