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A New Era Begins for Me

By Judy Myers, Extension Educator — Children, Youth & Family Consortium 

Image of Judy Myers
After nearly seven years with the Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC), I am retiring in December 2017. The past years have been rich with wonderful relationships with CYFC, Family Development and other Extension colleagues. I have also experienced meaningful community partnerships, and deep learning with our many scholar and practitioner partners.

I have particularly positive memories of the following Lessons from the Field workshops:
  • Historical Trauma: Significance and Response
  • Trauma and Children: A Model Program for Trauma-focused Care and Why it Works
  • Unbarred: Strengthening Families Affected by Incarceration  
  • Meeting the Needs of Transgender Youth
These events provided numerous opportunities to work with and learn from researchers and professionals in these fields.

My longest partner relationship has been with Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul. This collaboration has been fruitful and very personally satisfying. I will continue to maintain my relationship with the school and after December, I’ll work as a volunteer, assisting in efforts to create a nature-based play space and an integrated, structured playground.

Children working in the garden at Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul Minnesota
A scene from Bruce Vento's school garden.

Probably my most significant conversations during seven years with CYFC have been about white privilege and institutional racism. Living in Atlanta for 21 years, I never heard those terms, despite years of working with African-American families and colleagues and teaching students of color. Being immersed in these topics has been an important part of my development.

I’m grateful to partners who have pushed me to see the world through different lens, individuals like Elder Atum Azzahir, executive director of the Cultural Wellness Center; Bill Allen, marriage and family therapist with Healing Bonds; and Scott Masini, principal of Bruce Vento Elementary School. I hope I’m a better human being for knowing these people and many others who have pushed me to think bigger.

With limitless opportunities in retirement, I am looking forward to continuing my interests in health and education. I’m told by those who have preceded me in retirement that life just keeps getting better.

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