“What am I going to do next?” That’s the signature question many people find themselves pondering as the journey towards retirement approaches. Take it from Judy Cummins, a former Dean of Students who asked herself that very same question . . .

On reaching retirement, Judy could not paint a clear picture of what her future would look like. She found herself with the unanticipated but exciting task of determining how best to repurpose her years of teaching and background in counseling to her encore career. Thanks to a good friend Judy was connected to Experience Matters to help her put her amazing skills to work to help the community. Judy applied for a volunteer opportunity and she waited for Experience Matters to find her the perfect match. Her patience paid off and she was soon assigned to helping Central High School with their curriculum development and mentoring programs. Judy has been there four solid years – and counting – and finds the experience life-enriching and purpose-filled.

Judy explains, “Being matched with Central High School as a mentor allowed me to not only build capacity for the program, but also enabled me to foster relationships with the students and establish a team dynamic so connected that we’ve built genuine friendships.” Judy’s Experience Matters match impacted not only her life but the lives of the Central High School students and her overall team. “When we see a child who graduates and has a plan for the future that fits their interests, it fuels a passion within all parties. As mentors we recognize that when we show up and create a steady presence, the school and the students count on us-as a team.”

What’s next for Judy? As she has proven again and again, the possibilities are endless!