Judy Hansen has provided Blue Ridge Literacy Council with a decade of service, first as a tutor and then a Board Member. As she concludes her time of service with us, we are grateful for her past leadership.
Judy shared with us what it has meant to volunteer with the Literacy Council over the last decade.
In Judy's words:
For me, retirement was a time to focus on what I enjoyed in my personal and professional life and on what was most meaningful to me. That focus translated to a combination of “giving back” in my new community and helping others, particularly those who are not native born. As an ex-teacher in my younger days, to an experienced local government/municipal development advisor overseas for the United States Agency for International Development, I knew how important, yet how difficult, it was to learn the primary language of the country in which one lived. First, the Northern Virginia Literacy Council, and then, the Blue Ridge Literacy Council, made my early retirement years a challenge and a joy. For four years at BRLC I tutored three Hispanic women – all of whom worked hard to master reading, writing and comprehension. They did this for themselves, for their jobs and for their families, particularly their children. As I became their friend, my admiration for them grew as well. My reward was the smiles on their faces. While still tutoring I was asked to join the Board, which after many years of non-profit board experience, I was happy to do so. These last six years on the Board, with two as President and many as chair of several committees, have been challenging, fulfilling and enjoyable. We have benefitted from the knowledge and experience of three Executive Directors, the three-year Melvin R. Lane Grant, the development and implementation of a Strategic Plan (with Fundraising and Public Relations Plans as well), and, most importantly, the growth in our students and tutors, as well as our citizenship program. With the current ED, staff and Board, and our dedicated students, tutors and volunteers, the solid future of BRLC is in excellent hands. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the Blue Ridge Literacy Council. - Judy Hansen