First and foremost I am a Mom, which has prepared me for almost anything. I am happily married, (most days!), and have had the opportunity to live in several parts of the country while following my husband in his career. With friends I started two nonprofits.
One was a womens shelter in rural Arizona housing 23 women and their children, designed to gain an 80% self sufficiency rate by allowing residents to stay for up to two years with constant mentoring & support.
The other was an Arts Council designed to support the arts and community engagement in arts opportunities and projects throughout the community.
My favorite project with the Arts Council was a city mural project, where we selected the design created by a local at risk youth. We met this big, lumbering guy who barely spoke, and I quickly gave him managerial responsibility over the creation of this mural. By the end of the project this young man was politely giving orders to local business leaders and city council members who we had up on scaffolding, to "blend a little on the left" and "Please add more red on the right of the sunset".
Watching this young man transform before our very eyes to becomme confident, self assured and communicate well with others without being intimidated was amazing.From this experience I learned that one can find the most spectacular qualities and talents in people whom you might otherwise overlook. Sometimes you just have to scratch past the surface a bit.
I am now honored to have this opportunity to write for the McLean Patch under our Editor Bobbi Bowman.