Igniting the Fire

After 15 years in education as a mathematics teacher, curriculum developer, coordinator, track coach, club adviser, I decided to take a different path to explore what more I could impact, make a difference, and contribute towards creating better outcomes in my community.

The interview process for a nonprofit is a bit different than an interview for a teaching position. While my prepared questions and answers that I have about educational theories and teaching methods were not quite applicable, my experience with leadership, communication, organization, creativity, strength and persistence was. After a series of three interviews, including a 15-minute presentation on a topic of my choice to give to a panel, I proudly accepted the position as the Assistant Director of River Bridge Regional Center.

This is a brand new position within the RBRC organization with the expected responsibilities of grant writing, fundraising, donor acquisition and retention, communications and marketing, community outreach and awareness. My role is a great addition within RBRC and one that I will strive to positively impact its future as we work to serve children and families in our communities.

The fire inside me is ignited not only by the responsibilities and goals that I am undertaking, but by the mission and vision that River Bridge works toward. We wish to build a community where children are safe, families are strong, and where all abused children are believed, supported and able to heal. Our team of forensic interviewers, family advocates, mental health therapists, forensic nurses, led by our executive director Blythe Chapman, strives to spread the message that hope and healing are possible, that it is okay and safe to let the burdening secret out, and we will be there to help you rebuild your relationships, your family, and your future.

I am not the only one with a fire and passion inside yearning to positively impact this world and our community. Earlier this year River Bridge opened the doors to our new building at 504 21st Street, which now houses our medical and mental health services. Our original building continues to provide a safe and quiet place for our forensic interviews. The Bridge to Their Futures Campaign along with 66 businesses and individual donors made this happen for the children and families within our communities. We are grateful for the support from our community, our donors, and the children and families that we have assisted. If you looking to (re)ignite the fire inside you, one way is to connect with others who are contributing to the overall wellness and health of your family and community.  To learn more about River Bridge Regional Center, to volunteer or donate, please visit our website

Mary Cloud

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