A few weeks ago we had the joy – and I do mean truly joy – of being in Hartford, CT at Goodwin College. Within moments of the director of nursing, Jan Costello, picking us up from the train station I KNEW that Goodwin would join the ranks as one of our favorite places to be. As she began to share about the school and the vision they pursed the pure energy and passion was palpable. And it wasn’t just about getting bigger and more successful – the mission all revolves around creating students who succeed and go on to be excellent health care pros and passing that tradition along.
Soon as we stepped foot on campus I was in love. The students – the staff – the spirit of the place was invigorating and inspiring. Creating a supportive culture like that doesn’t happen by accident – it takes intention and teaching and modeling from the top down… and Goodwin does it beautifully!
Marcus did several packed out presentations with the last one being in the evening. There was a long line of people standing at the product table waiting to speak to Marcus and get photos and autographs. I (for once!) got to be over to the side watching rather than working the table.
A young woman came up to me with her two children. A little girl, about 9 years old, and a younger son. She told me how much she enjoyed the talk but that it especially meant a lot to her to hear Marcus say he married a woman with kids and to go on and speak so fondly of his step children. As a single mom, she said she sometimes feels like it’s impossible to find a man willing to take “all that” on. I was happy to assure her that while Marcus is one-in-a-million, there’s someone for her too – just keep working toward your dreams. Then she told me a bit of her story:
Single mom, 2 young children, works full-time and attends school at night to become an RN. Her kids usually go with her to class at night because there is no one else to watch them. She went on to praise the professors for being so supportive and working with her so that the kids can come along. Now this – by itself – says SO much about this school and their commitment to seeing their students succeed! And clearly the children were very sweet and well behaved.
As I was sharing with her how impressed and proud I was of her for committing to something so difficult but seeing it thru her daughter spoke up.
“I’m going to college too!”
“I bet you are! That is wonderful – you’re mom is showing you how important an education is!”
“Yes – and I’m even saving money for it now! I have a business.”
“You do?? What kind of business?”
The beautiful little 9 year old holds out her arm and shows me a string bracelet she has made and explains she sells them to put money in her college fund.
I’m sure you have no doubt that Marcus and I are currently wearing bracelets – and come Christmas most all our family will be too! There is NO way we were going to miss investing in a child with that much determination!
Every time I look at my wrist (Marcus wears his on his ankle) – I think about her. And I think about the school. And I think about her mom. And it reminds me that the things we SAY we value aren’t nearly as important as the things that we actually invest in… that is the real message we send to others. This mom shows her kids every single day that she values education… I wonder what messages I’m sending…
Thanks for the bracelet… and the lesson. ❤
Wonderful post, and a powerful message! People often think of “investing” in how and where they give up money or other tangibles. Truth is, we have limitless opportunities every day to invest our time, our hearts, our creativity, our kindness or whatever other gifts we have in any way that we choose, and those are the investments that really pay off in the long run. Kudos to the college mom that you met for the future she is creating for herself and her children!
That…was a fantastic story. Recently, a coworker of mine shared his story of how he has stepchildren and has a great relationship with them. Good stuff.
Awesome words – Thanks y’all 🙂