I knew from the very first time I walked into Brighton Center on Central Avenue, that this was the place for me.

  When I came for my interview in 1981, both staff and residents checked me out as I walked back to the Director’s office in the only suit I owned.  Being fresh out of college, I was ready to do something.  The Center felt grassroots and neighborly and I could see the need in the community.  What I came to appreciate is that the community was so much more.  The residents were just like me, they just needed a little help and support.  Parents wanted their children to be successful in school and get a good job.  Adults just wanted to take care of their families.  Seniors wanted to stay in the community they’ve known their entire lives and age with dignity.   My own Grandmother had moved to Dayton, OH from Louisa, KY looking for work and a better life. I could relate to their hopes and dreams and even their struggles. The opportunity to help people reach their full potential was endless.

Working at Brighton Center has given me perspective and stretched by preconceived notions about people - how they end up in challenging situations and how their resilience guides them to new heights.  It’s made me more thoughtful, less judging, more grateful, and less prescriptive about the “right” way to do things.  I’ve learned people need to feel cared about and listened to before they will trust you to become a part of their life.  All this has made me a better person and has tremendously influenced my family.  My children and husband have been pulled in to many Brighton Center events and projects and have weathered the ups and downs of a mom and wife trying to balance home and work.  But when you feel meaning and purpose in your work, you stretch.

I am very grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to learn and grow at the Center.  Every new program was an opportunity to learn a new skill and figure out how the work we are doing can best serve our customers.  From emergency assistance, to working with youth and families, to leading a staff as the President & CEO– I’ve done a little bit of everything along the way.  I’m very proud of all our programs, but especially the work we’ve done around self-sufficiency and comprehensive programming; I’m proud of how our Early Childhood Education programs serve children birth-Kindergarten; I’m proud of the Brighton Recovery Center; I’m proud of Northern Kentucky Scholar House.  I’ve had a hand in these and so much more, but I know these accomplishments are not mine alone and I stand on the shoulders of everyone who came before me and stand beside everyone who’s worked with me. 

I marvel at the vision described in the Center’s original Articles of Incorporation developed by Rev. Bill Neuroth and I highly respect the intuitive leadership, tenacity, and commitment of Bob Brewster who leaves a legacy of high expectations and excellence in customer service.  I’m amazed at the passion and dedication of our employees who feel the same connection I did back in 1981 and give 110% every day.  I’m humbled by thousands of volunteers and donors who have the biggest hearts and give of themselves simply to make someone else’s life a little better.  But mostly, I’m inspired by the people we serve.  People who have faced incredible odds; whose lives are complicated and stressful; who nothing comes easy for; who open themselves to accept the help from others and go on to rebuild or reroute their lives.  We provide an opportunity, but they do the hard work of transforming their lives. 

I’m honored to celebrate Brighton Center’s past 50 years – and I look forward to seeing how this incredible organization moves forward and continues to lift up everyone it touches.

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