Youth Development Institute actually began for me yesterday. Being on the life skills focus team. I came early to try to help. The committee had everything under control. The first event of the week was the retirement reception for Dr. Joy Jordan. She is been the Curriculum Development specialist for the University of Florida for the past 22 years. She has been my mentor and friend. If I had to pick one person who has been an inspiration to me it would be Joy Jordan.
She actually interviewed me for my first job in extension. The interview process to be an extension agent is .... well it is a little bit about being the guest hot dog at a forth of July picnic if you get my drift. My interview schedule was on Valentines day and the first interviewer of the day didn't show up. The support staff called Joy and explained the problem and she said, "Of course, I can do that." Her I can do it attitude with only a moment's notice and continual striving for excellence are two of her life messages that have impressed me over the years. She gave me a great interview and helped me step forward into the rest of the day with a more confident attitude.
From that nebulous beginning to being co-chair of her Life Skills Focus team, she has been there to support, nurture and mentor me to strive for excellence and professionalism. I don't have the words to say how much I will miss her and how much I know she deserves this time to enjoy life.
Then it was off and running to the Opening Session of 2011 Youth Development Institute. Chris DeCubellis gave a rousing motivations speech to the assembled audience. We laughed, we cried. He did an awesome job of setting the tone and opening the session.
Following the opening session we had the opportunity for dinner, networking and settling in to be ready for the events of the week. I found the gym and discovered that there are free fitness videos on the T.V.
I'm excited at what lies ahead for Youth Development Institute 2011