HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Amy Vaughn tears up when she reflects on the hardest part of saying goodbye to Kids in Motion, Teens in Motion and Douglass Community Services on Wednesday.
"The hardest part is leaving the kids," she said, pausing to fight back tears. "One of the things I always tell the kids is to follow your dreams. It's time for me to follow mine."
Vaughn, who has served as Kids in Motion program director for the past 12 years, is vacating her position to start her own consulting business called Be The Change For Your Community.
Kids in Motion celebrate summer, bid farewell to director
The members of Kids in Motion demonstrated all of the ways they grew throughout the summer during a special celebration Monday, July 30 at First Presbyterian Church.
Kids in Motion (KIM), which is under the umbrella of Douglass Community Services, is a pre-employment program that instills work ethic, responsibility and giving back to the community through demonstrations and tasks at area organizations, businesses and events for participants 12 to 15 years old. Several participants shared essays about how the things they did and experienced impacted their lives during their End of Summer Celebration. Program Director Amy Vaughn thanked all of the mentors, program partners, donors, supervisors and other people who help make the program a success.
KIM kids took turns sharing essays they prepared, reflecting on a season filled with memories, hard work and compassion. Iyanna Hampton said that respect was one of the biggest lessons she learned in KIM.
“Be good to people for no reason, just because it’s the right thing to do,” she wrote in her essay. “Listen, encourage, be kind — respect goes a long way, and you never know how truly helpful it is to someone.”
Bidding a Fond Farewell
A longtime area leader for youth bid a bittersweet farewell with community leaders, family members and fellow colleagues extending their wishes to her Monday in the Douglass Community Services community building.
Amy Vaughn, Program Director for Kids in Motion (KIM) — which is under the umbrella of Douglass Community Services and is a United Way recipient — gave hugs to everyone who came to visit during a surprise farewell gathering after 12 years with the program. Visitors wrote down memories and sentiments in a book for Vaughn, who said that while she would deeply miss all of the kids she has worked with, she was ready for a new set of goals to take shape.
“I feel like it’s time for others to step up, and for me to follow my dream,” she said. “I’m really excited about what the future holds for Kids in Motion, because I’m confident the community loves and supports this program, and I’m confident that it will continue and grow, and probably even thrive.”