Submitted by Aaron Sayles
Q: What was your primary career and what did you love about it?
A: My primary career right out of college was as a supervisor, a manager. I manage people. I have worked as a manager at RCA Corporation in Marion, IN and Lancaster, PA, Hughes Aircraft Company in Carlsbad, CA, TRW in San Dimas, CA and Mesa, AZ and Intel in Chandler, AZ. I love working with people. I enjoy encouraging people, motivating people and helping them to meet their goals as a team so that everyone could receive recognition at work and to help them to also achieve the goals they have for their life.
Q: When you retired, did you feel ‘finished’ or, for you, was there still something left to do?
A: No, there was never a thought that entered my mind that was telling me that I had finished everything. I knew that there was still a lot of work for me to do especially in the things that I loved to do and wanted to do. See my comments below on the advice for boomers who are about to launch their own “second act.”
Q: What inspires you and why?
A: Working with young people have always inspired me. I attended a Christian College and the friends I made there all had the same passion and that was to help others, especially young people in any way we could. I was a Youth minister for twenty years, a Big Brother for ten years in the Phoenix Big Brother program and while working at Intel I was part of a group that traveled to high schools and encouraged students to stay in school and to go to college. I help a friend who is a minister. I work with him with the Native Americans at the Salt River Reservation with the Church there. I also work with and African friend who is a Missionary to Africa with his non-profit organization. For me there is not a greater inspiration and joy than seeing the young person you have personally help become successful in life.
Q: How does your unique set of experiences make a difference for the community in your work now?
A: Working with the Mesa YMCA has helped me to connect with a lot of young people in High School. I am the Mesa YMCA Volunteer Coordinator. One of my main jobs is to find volunteers for the Mesa YMCA to help and work in their programs. We have a lot of programs for kids such as our Summer Kids camp, our Child Watch program and our Pre-School program. These programs are ideal for High School students to volunteer and learn to work with younger kids as counselors. It helps them to understand the value of helping someone in a volunteering way,especially while they are young themselves. This will only make them better people in the community that they live in. I also help the Mesa YMCA to find adult people who would like to become a YMCA Board Members. This again can only help the community.
Q: What’s your advice for boomers who are about to launch their own “second act”?
A: The president of the college I attended who is still a very good friend of mine today inspired me with these words and I would like to share this with boomers who are about to launch their own “second act.”One of my favorite sayings that inspire me is: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” All of the great Pioneers of the past made things better for those of us who are now followers. Let us be infused with the spirit of the Pioneers, for in a way we are pioneers. We are going ahead of those who will follow us. As we do that let us keep in mind that we want to leave a better trail for them to follow. Robert Frost, a great poet said, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep but I have promises to keep and miles to travel before I sleep.” All of us who are retiring should have that spirit. Keep your promises of doing something that will be of great benefit to those who follow us.