AssistU has held Community Recognition Awards since our first in person community event in 2007 in Maryland (coordinated by the amazing Sharon Broughton) which was AssistU’s 10th Anniversary. The CRAs were held in Las Vegas in 2008 (which I helped coordinate) and 2009 in Minneapolis (coordinated by the lovely Sheri Brogni) and this year’s 2010 event is called appropriately called Homecoming and will be held in Reston, VA in September.

I have been nominated several times in several categories and last year was moved to tears to be awarded Staff Member of the Year at AssistU. This year I am once again deeply moved and touched to have been nominated for VA of the Year along with these incredible VAs: Kyle Chandler, Rachael Davila, Desiree Greenlee-Powell, Pat Matson, Larissa Parks, and Sandra Trca-Black.

And also for Most Supportive Community Member in this estimable company: Kyle Chandler, Rachael Davila, Desiree Greenlee-Powell, Barbara Lochen, Robyn Talbott, Beatrice Ten-Thye, and Sandra Trca-Black.

My focus has shifted recently towards my family and personal life but the community has been there for me through all of it. When a few VAs mentioned that we needed a place to support members who were caring for older loved ones a Special Interest Group was immediately formed: VALOR (VA’s loving older relatives). We meet each month via telebridge and post on the forum when we need to vent or ask for help or share resources.  This is a small example of how dedicated AssistU is to being there for us and the whole of our lives. 

And although I haven’t participated in the community forums daily as I used to and since I am no longer Admissions Director I’m not involved with our newbies or the pulse of the VTP as I once was, I do volunteer to be a Buddy to new VTP members, and I am the Chapter Host for Florida where 17 AU VAs reside. I am a huge proponent of our Internship program and have worked with many new VTP graduates and thoroughly enjoy giving back in this way. I love this community and have made close personal connections with so many kindred souls some of whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet at events like the CRAs and others who remain vibrant virtual connections. 

The AssistU community has enriched my life and soul in innumerable ways. Connecting with this group of people, virtually and face-to-face, who completely ‘get me’, what I do and who I am, is a blessing that I do not take lightly. I’m soulfully grateful to be recognized by ‘mah people’—ya’ll rock and being with you is truly ‘coming home’.