As 2021 begins to unfold, the lessons of 2020 are still fresh in our minds. We know it’s important to be connected, not to take anything for granted, and to have flexibility. However, one reminder helps me find daily perspective about how to handle each situation that gets thrown our way.

Our kids are watching. Yes, I know not everyone has their own children, but in a sense, don’t we? The students we counsel, whether in the K-12 schools, college, or our own flesh and blood, are watching what we do. How did we handle the changes we were dealt during the pandemic? How did we overcome adversity when things didn’t go our way? What positive contributions did we make to our society when so many around us were hurting? Our kids will notice all of these things. What’s amazing is that we have the power to shape their futures by the way we handle these situations. These kids are the educators, doctors, mechanics, business leaders, farmers, politicians, and decision-makers for the next generation. They will potentially handle themselves in the way they were taught and in the examples of adults they respected. That makes me hopeful when I look at our association.

Our kids look to us for guidance while in school and as they take the next step into college. May we help them find a career path to help them respectfully serve others.

Our kids ask our advice when they are worried or are hurting. May we arm them with the tools to navigate difficult times.

Our kids want our help when faced with injustice. May we lead by example in showing compassion and standing up for equality.

Our kids need us to help guide the way. I appreciate you, our members, for all you do for today’s youth when faced with so many obstacles. Keep going. You will make a difference!

Gratefully,
Tara Winter
President, Iowa ACAC

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