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CCD Staff Member Highlight: Judy Collins

Jun 24, 2024

We're excited to introduce Judy Collins, a dedicated and invaluable member of the Community Collaboration of Delaware (CCD) team.

Judy plays a crucial role as the house manager for Aurora House, one of CCD's transitional sober living homes, where she provides guidance and support to residents on their journey to recovery. Additionally, Judy brings her passion and expertise to our Extended Care Program at Carrie Downie Elementary School, enriching the lives of students in our before and after-care programs.

Judy's unwavering commitment to supporting both our residents and students is truly inspiring, and we are grateful for her dedication and hard work. We appreciate her willingness to be interviewed for this project, and we're excited to share her insightful responses with our followers. Below are the interview questions we asked Judy to learn more about her experiences and contributions to CCD.

Personal and Professional Background:

Can you share a bit about your background and how you came to join Community Collaboration of Delaware (CCD)?

Before retiring I was a machine operator for several years. Unfortunately, I suffered several setbacks and found comfort in alcohol. After battling with my addiction for what felt like a lifetime, I surrendered my will and power over to the care of God. I moved into CCD and over the last year and a half my life has vastly improved. In the summer of 2023, I became one of the 1st tenants and the house mother at the newest CCD women's house, Aurora, offering guidance and support to a group in an environment that is filled with love, patience, and structure. In the summer of 2023, I also began working for CCD as a camp counselor for their Summer Camp Program at Carrie Downie. There I learned tolerance, patience, empathy and received endless love and admiration from staff and the camp participants. My summer job extended into the 2023-24 school year when I worked for the CCD Extended Care Program as a program staff member and that has been nothing but complete joy.


Experiences and Impact in the CARE Program:

How has your experience been working with the women in the CARE Program? What do you find most rewarding about your role?

Working with the women in the CARE Program has been a rewarding experience. It is rewarding to know that they can trust and rely on me in their lives no matter what the situation. Most often it is a friendly non-judgmental ear that they need with some "motherly" advice to aid them in seeing the bigger picture.

As a role model, what key messages or values do you strive to impart to the women in the CARE Program?

Life isn't easy. It's how you face the difficulty that makes you stronger. Keep your head held high and never give up on yourself.

Youth Development Highlights:

Can you share your best memory or a standout moment with the youth in the CCD Extended CARE Program?

I enjoy being around the children, seeing their energy, their excitement and being able to nurture those that need it with a kind word or friendly gesture. I also give them candy (☺️). It’s hard to pick one moment but I will say that it's an honor that my presence in their lives has touched them so much that they invite me to award ceremonies, plays, musicals, etc. I have received a few thank you cards throughout the year from parents that hear Ms. Judy stories throughout the evening. That warms my heart.

How do you think programs like the CCD Extended CARE Program benefit the students and the community at large?

Providing students a safe and reliable place to go before and/or after school relieves the worry and concern parents have for their children. The streets are dangerous, and crime has no age or gender restrictions. Having a program like the CCD Extended Care Program helps keep kids safe afterschool and the added comfort for a parent knowing their child is safe is a plus.

Memorable Moment:

What is a particularly rewarding experience you’ve had while working at CCD, and what made this moment memorably?

Again, that is hard to pinpoint one thing. The simple fact that CCD sees me for who I am and not my past is a reward in itself. I enjoy being at the school and in the community and find something rewarding each and every day from something as small as a smile or being told I did a good job.

Personal Insights:

What do you enjoy most about your job, and what keeps you motivated?

How have you grown personally and professionally through your work with CCD?

What I enjoy most is no matter how much I may plan it in my head, no day is ever the same. My life prior to CCD was mundane and I was in a rut. Here, I have learned so much from so many different women and even the kids. It's thrilling and keeps me motivated.

Community Impact:

How do you see CCD making a difference in the community, and what role do you feel you play in that impact?

I see CCD branching outside of just recovery and extended school care. CCD is opening up to the community that surrounds our houses offering valuable resources. I see myself walking hand in hand with those efforts in any way that I am needed.

Closing Thoughts:

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in community service and youth development?

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience with CCD?

If you are considering a career in community service and youth development, it is one of the most humbling and rewarding choices you are making. I learned a long time ago that if your job brings you joy, you'll never have to work a day in your life because it is part of you.


I close by saying thank you CCD for all that you are doing for me and the community.

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