Monday, October 22, 2018

"Learning how to learn" is often as important as what one knows...welcome, Ben Judy, to our Board

     Ben Judy was born a fifth generation Californian in Palo Alto.  He moved to the NH-VT Connecticut River Valley halfway through his high school years.  He says he did most of his growing up in the East.   Ben studied History in college, earning a degree from Bates.
     "My degree from a liberal arts college influences my work at the Vermont Department of Labor, in that, 'learning how to learn' is often as important as what one knows.  Both are important components, but the 'how' seems much more transferable to a wide variety of career options where soft skills seem to make a difference.
     Ben and his wife, Joyce, relocated to Vermont in 1994.  Their move was prompted by a career change.  Ben and Joyce love living in a place so many people visit for the distinct purpose of relaxing and recreating.  They enjoy biking, walking and hiking---right from home.
     "Serving on the Laraway Board allows me to support the valued and remarkable work the organization is engaged with," Ben said.  "I feel closely aligned with the agency's vision that, 'All children and families below to nurturing communities.'  As a community citizen, it in on all of us to help create nurturing communities."
      When asked if there's anything else readers should know, Ben was quick to volunteer:  "I'm a dog person!"
      Thank you, Ben, for supporting Laraway's work with children and families.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

"I have no doubt Logan will become an integral member of an IT team..."

     Logan, a former youth in Laraway’s Backpack Program, has goals. He hopes to earn a degree in Computer Systems Management and work on an IT (Information Technology) Team, helping to manage computers for a company.  He’s particularly handy with hardware---fixing and rebuilding computers---so working in a tech repair shop also appeals.
     Logan spent several years in Laraway’s Backpack Program, our public-school-based behavioral support program as an elementary student. By middle school, he was an independent student in the classroom.
     “It (Backpack) was a pretty good experience,” he says. “We got to go to NCAL (North Country Animal League) and play with the animals.”  Excursions such as this were offered as incentives for being on task in the classroom during the school day.  
     Logan enrolled in a computer networking program in high school at a Vermont technical center and thrived.  He learned to wire up computers, install operating systems, and troubleshoot. The latter is a very valuable skill for an aspiring IT professional---methodically going through a series of steps to determine the issue causing a problem.  It takes patience.  It takes skill.
     “Our teacher told us to treat our class like a job,” Logan says. “He assigned projects at the beginning of the week and we were expected to get them done.  We worked individually, but could talk to each other to figure things out.”
      Logan started a Computer Systems Management degree program at the Community College of Vermont.  He’s presently interning at Laraway via a partnership with the Vermont Department of Labor and is mentored by Laraway’s IT Manager Jeff Snyder.
     “Logan is picking things up quickly,” Jeff says.  “It’s motivating and encouraging to watch a young person work toward their goals.  I have no doubt Logan will become an integral part of an IT team in the near future.”
    Logan understands that earning a degree will open doors to a career in the IT field.  For now, we are grateful to have Logan at Laraway to lend his burgeoning expertise!