As I leave the YWCA, I am humbled and honored and overwhelmed by your support. I am a fan of the Robert Louis Stevenson quote that says, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
I believe we have lived Stevenson’s words…we have planted many many seeds AND we have been fortunate to begin to see the harvest.
I am grateful for so many things that I have witnessed these past years:
- I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our community; each day I came to work knowing that somewhere in the vast Valley of the Sun, our YWCA was making that moment and that day a little better for a mom, a senior or a family
- I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about people; each day I have learned about someone and what we can do; through a direct service, a referral, or a listening heart.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate; many of you here tonight are the result of a YWCA collaboration, this is indeed a small town and without you, we could not do what we do, THANK YOU!
- I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something bigger; we sometimes get lost in our own individual issues and being part of the YWCA, has shown me that we must think beyond ourselves and our little piece of the world.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to work with volunteers that truly give their heart and soul to a mission, these are some of the most wonderful people I have met and their commitment to this work is incredible.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to work with an incredible Board of Directors who have been supportive, enthusiastic and thoughtful. Our YWCA is fortunate to have Board leadership that is a true partner in creating a stable and bright future.
- I am grateful for The YWCA Team! I cannot begin to thank each one of them for their work; this group makes it happen, please help me acknowledge them.
- I am grateful for The opportunity to see the world through different eyes. With our advocacy work, I have been able to see and hear the stories of others who come from a vastly different background and experience; I hope that this sight has changed me and gives me a sense of what I need to do to make this world a better place.
Our Mission of Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women is big and BOLD! Every day, you can build on our mission…is so many ways. Whisper into that little girl’s ear that she is already powerful, and she should believe it. Let that person who whispers under their breath or uses a racist slur that it is NOT okay!
I leave you with the words of Malala, the young women targeted and shot by the Taliban…the young women who has come back stronger than ever:
“I raise up my voice – not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
Thank you for joining our Mission, please raise your voices!
Regina Edwards, Outgoing CEO
YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix