Dear Little City Family,
It is with bittersweet emotion I share with each of you my decision to retire from my position of Executive Director at Little City.
When I first came to Little City in 2003, I saw an opportunity to be part of something great. It was immediately clear that the people who worked, supported and lived at Little City were building something very special here. After decades in various positions in the social service field, there was a sense of community and care at Little City that made me feel like I had found my home. It turns out I did.
When I think about where we were in 2003 compared to where we are today, I can feel nothing but pride in what you helped accomplish. We built a state-of-the-art therapeutic day school, developed a robust employment program that has opened job opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, created countless homes for children and adults, double in size and expanded our geography for our Foster Care & Adoption program, significantly improved our health outcomes through our clinic partnership with Aunt Martha’s, expanded our family with the Countryside Association merger and so much more.
I feel blessed to have played a part in it and truly honored to have watched so many talented and caring people make these life-changing differences for the people we serve. It has always been the people that have made Little City special. The care, patience and selflessness I have seen in so many of the staff over the years is something that sets Little City apart. It has been inspiring to see and it is why when families come to Little City, they stay at Little City.
It has been a pleasure to work with the families, donors, board members and community partners over these years as none of these great achievements would have been possible without their support. There is no greater feeling than seeing a family that experienced challenges and hardships before Little City find a renewed sense of hope and optimism by seeing the growth and opportunities their loved one receives here. Those are the families that inspired me and continue to inspire me to create a better world for people with developmental disabilities.
As I prepare for my final chapter at Little City, I plan to continue in my role until a new executive director is found. I will give my all in order to ensure a smooth transition is made so the new executive director has all the tools and resources I was blessed to have when I first started and can continue to take Little City to even greater heights.
My father always told me to wake up every day with something to do and look forward to, and Little City has always provided me with that. I have always been motivated and inspired to be of service to others, and as this chapter at Little City closes, one thing I do know is that the next chapter in my life must also include service to others in some capacity.
Being part of this family has truly been the honor of a lifetime. You have all helped make my dreams come true, and more importantly, the dreams of so many people who were told they can’t do something or don’t belong. Keep believing in them, empowering them and showing them they can achieve their dreams and they do belong.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be part of this journey. I can’t wait to see what you all accomplish next.
Shawn E. Jeffers