Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Harlan
What inspired you to volunteer with our ACE Program?
"When I heard about ACE back in 2001, my immediate reaction was ‘Wow, I wish something like that had been available when I was in high school.’ I was fortunate to be a very self-motivated and optimistic person and became a successful entrepreneur, but gosh it would have been a comfort to have some guidance along the way.
Encouragement to have a dream and believe in yourself makes anything possible. Pairing that awareness with the experiential life-skills training the ACE Program offers makes it more probable. Attitude, awareness of the power of choice, and life-skills can be game-changers!"
In what ways have you seen the ACE Program change or impact the students you've worked with?
"Witnessing their dawning awareness—that authenticity, rather than image, is what fosters true connection with themselves and others. The activities in the ACE Program allow them to experiment with this new idea.
I am awed by the courage of the students as they venture outside their comfort zones, daring to acknowledge their strengths or share deeply with their peers and teachers in the course of the day. Assisting in the workshops reassures me that my future will be in good hands."
What is one of your favorite or most memorable moments from your experience as an ACE volunteer?
"I love being able to participate in the smaller resource groups with the students. Sharing that experience of “seeing” them and “being seen by” them is priceless.
What a privilege to witness their willingness to be vulnerable, to grow together and to support each other on their learning journey. They always teach me something valuable I never knew, or make me remember something useful I have forgotten."