The Best Advice for Creating the Future You Want? Just Do It!

From a school administrator in Pittsburgh to a full-time family caregiver in Arizona, Annette Shrager was looking for ways to engage in her new community and share her love of learning while still taking care of the health needs of her family members. And it just didn’t fall in her lap, she put herself out there as an elementary school volunteer. From there she heard about the Experience Matters AmeriCorps program and made a 300-hour commitment to work two days per week at two different schools.

Passionate about good citizenship and the role that service can play in everyone’s life, Annette enjoys introducing service learning to the kids. In fact, when she considers the long-range effects of volunteerism, it isn’t her generation she hopes to influence – her sights are set on her children and grandchildren. Annette is one of those lucky individuals who knows instinctively that the possibilities for making change happen are as simple as just going out and doing it, and she doesn’t let the negatives around health issues or family issues get in her way. “My volunteer work has actually given me more energy to take back to the caregiver role I have with my mom and my sister.”

So what advice would she give to other retirees who can’t quite see a new path for themselves? She says to believe you can still reinvent yourself.

“When I retired, my dreams and aspirations didn’t just go away, and I still have the desire to make them happen. I almost feel like now, on the flip side of where I was when I began my career, I have even more opportunity to make my work what I want it to be; more chances to fulfill my goals.”

– Annette Shrager