Linda began her work at the Youth Bureau as a part-time staff member 25 years ago. Now she works full time as the Program Coordinator for the College Discovery Program (CDP). She began the Tot Spot program at the YB when her own son was two years old because she felt there was a need for a warm, dry place for kiddos to run around and get exercise during the cold Ithaca winters. After that, Linda helped start a YB initiative at Beverly J Martin Elementary school which led to her being hired by the school district to co-lead the program for three years. Linda came back to the Youth Bureau to coordinate the College Discovery Program, which at the time was a pilot program with only 12 students. Linda has now been with the CDP for 15 years and has watched it flourish and grow, serving over 100 youth!
Linda is passionate about using her creativity and experience in the education system to help kids thrive, and she truly loves helping her community. She began her career working as a research assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital studying normal aging and dementia. Linda recalls that while the work was interesting, she felt that there was little room for creativity and growth and began looking for other opportunities. She ended up going to graduate school to get her teaching certification.
She has many memories from her tenure at the Youth Bureau. She said she loves seeing CDP students get involved in their community and give back during service projects.
“CDP provides a sense of belonging to youth and a chance to try different things, visit different places, and learn about possibilities,” Linda said.“We help students, many of whom may be first generation college students, to see themselves as potential college students by offering tutors, mentors, college visits, and more.’’
We celebrate Linda’s work anniversary and thank her for the work she’s done to make the Ithaca community a better place for youth.