Mary: I remember feeling, as I got deeper into ATC, that the teen years in particular are difficult years, as young people are figuring out who they are. And it seems to me that it’s a very fragile moment in parenting. Where you want to be supportive, but you also are hoping that they are going to go in good directions. So you’re directing to a certain degree, but because it’s so fragile, it just made me—when I was doing the work here—reminded me all the time that something in my life could change and my children could be affected. And certainly having ATC would help those children who had chosen different paths.
Jeanine: Besides the connection with counseling that I have with ATC, one of the other things that drew me in was the focus here on the African-American community. Despite the fact that Rob is not African American, and most of the staff is not, probably not most of the donors, or the board ever are, but there’s still this recognition of, there’s a problem here and we want to help solve that. We want to learn what we can about it. We want to figure this out. We want to contribute as much as we can.
That is something that meant a lot to me as somebody of African-American descent. And it made me feel like, this organization I feel like I’m going feel aligned with very strongly. That feeling has continued certainly all the way through my tenure. I remember one of our longtime board members at one of our meetings talking about how passionate he was about our work with the jails. And the words that were coming out of his mouth were coming straight from my heart, but I would never be able to put it out so eloquently. It was just a wonderful moment.