By David F. Rooney
Au revoir Anne Corrie. You will be missed by a lot of people — especially the many teens you’ve worked with over the last five and a half years.
For those readers who are unfamiliar with her, Anne has been the Youth Program Coordinator for Community Connections.
“I’ve not only had a lot of fun but I found it to be very rewarding,”she said in a recent interview. “It’s all about getting youth engaged and involved… offering them worthwhile activities and social alternatives.”
Running a successful program such as the Youth Program is about more than setting up activities and letting teenagers do them. Corrie was successful not only because she put together fun activities but because she had great instincts about boys and girls and set very clear and very, very firm boundaries that everyone understood. Cross those boundaries and there would be consequences.
Corrie also understood that keeping teens occupied and socially engaged meant offering up food. Every program she ran from No Rules Art to Trampoline had a food component. Kids are always hungry so having food on hand was a an excellent attractant. For some of the kids, the pizza and juice they’d get at the Youth Program activity of the day might be akin to a major meal. Or it might simply be a snack. Whatever else it might be it was also a social lubricant that helped ensure that everyone got along together.
Pu all of these disparate things together and you’d swiftly and easily come to the conclusion that Anne Corrie cared deeply about the very young men and women who were in her care.
And the kids cared right back, too. You could hear their respect for in the timbre of their voices and the way they jumped to do her bidding. And, of course, they kept coming back to the program.
Anne was not the only person who worked on the program. Sheena Wells worked with her, too. But she was the glue that held it together.
Community Connections has a knack for finding the right people to run their programs and i have no doubt that they will find someone to replace Anne Corrie.
But it’s a shame that she’s leaving. She has done a remarkable job and she will be missed.
Au revoir, Anne.