By: Maks Luthra and Sara Langworthy
With the beginning of a new year come changes. CYFC staff has always embraced change and seen it as the most powerful development tool for them. All good things must come to an end, and for Maks Luthra and Sara Langworthy, it’s time to move on.
The support and guidance I have received from the CYFC staff has been exceptional, and has given me an extremely positive outlook toward community-based participatory research. I have learned about partnership building, community organizing, and fostering healthy relationships from Judy Myers and Sara Langworthy. The project is spread out, and it is hard to explain it in a sentence — it is because of healthy partnerships that Judy and Sara have developed and maintained over time. I also deeply appreciate the collaboration offered by Bruce Vento school staff, specifically Principal Masini whose leadership has been instrumental in making my experience with Bruce Vento Elementary School a successful one.
As I get closer to my graduation, I am working with Mayo Clinic on my master's project to study the opioid administration rates in teaching hospitals in United States and how those are impacted by the policies at the state level.
In the one year that I have spent managing this project, I have met a number of compassionate individuals who are dedicated to serving the community, and I am genuinely appreciative of their caring demeanor and their spirit of celebrating diversity.
I have really loved my time working for CYFC, and one of the biggest highlights has most certainly been the partnership with Bruce Vento Elementary School. I’ve enjoyed working closely with our organizational partners, the Bruce Vento staff, and of course my incredible CYFC colleagues. I’ve had some amazing learning experiences working with this team. I’ve done a little bit of everything on this project from meeting with organizational leaders and partners to contribute my ideas for how to shape the school’s future, to rolling up my sleeves and getting dirty painting a mural on a classroom wall. CYFC has played a really critical role in bringing together people to create really meaningful, research-informed trauma-sensitive environments for students, and I’ve loved helping to lead those efforts.
Above all, working on this project has taught me the value of listening first, asking “how can I help?” and then figuring out how to get the work done creatively. That perspective is something I will take with me as I move on the next phase of my career.
So what’s next for me? I’m embarking on some new adventures in consulting, writing, speaking, and online video. I’ve always enjoyed diving into new things, going where the energy is, and helping people solve problems. Organizational consulting gives me the chance to help people get the information they need to move their work forward. Writing and speaking gives me the opportunity to communicate scientific research and practical knowledge to change the hearts and minds of people who can use it to improve the lives of kids and families. And online video, apart from being really fun, provides a platform to share ideas and knowledge with all kinds of people across the world. I’m excited to dive into the next phase of my career, and see where this path leads me. You can keep up with me on my website (www.drlangworthy.com) or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/DrLangworthy).
And to the Bruce Vento staff and project partners, thank you for your passionate commitment to improving the lives of the children you work with. It’s humbling to see, and we’ve loved being small part of your world for a while.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Learners is an ongoing partnership between the Extension Children, Youth, and Family Consortium and the Bruce Vento Elementary School. Together, along with many other partners, we are developing engaging learning environments that promote student learning and wellness.