Relationships Everyone has a story, a path, and something to share

I am related to everyone.

From my earliest memories, everyone I met seemed to be a relative; at least that's what I thought. More often than not, there was always a new face at the family dinner table. For the longest time, I just figured I had a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins in the world who would just drop by and eat, laugh & visit with us, and then they'd be gone as quickly as they had arrived. There was always a place for everyone, food was shared and memories were made.

A place for everyone.

As I got older, I realized that these people who always showed up out of the blue, were just people. They somehow met my parents or grandparents and were invited into our homes. My grandparents survived through the Great Depression, and they believed strongly in sharing their blessings with others.

They believed everyone had a value, a story, and something to offer others.

My grandparents - Alice & Al Coons

The consistent influx of new friends and family into our lives: the opportunity to share stories, experiences, meals and services, provided me with a a growing tapestry of relationships.

My childhood was infused with the understanding that people are always valued over things, and sharing experiences over solitude and self.

After college, I began gravitating toward jobs that combined service, education and community.

I found that meeting people wherever they were and sharing in their circumstance was natural and enjoyable.

It gave me a sense of value not just the 'punching of a time clock', 'means-to-an-end' type job.

While working in college admissions, I met and counseled over 1,700 students and families.

I worked in higher education for many years. I taught families about the financial aid process, how to get scholarships, counseled high school students and parents in course selection so they'd be ready for college, and then walked them through the enrollment and admission process. I met so many new people, each with their own interesting stories, challenges and experiences, and I enjoyed helping them find their path and helping make their dreams become reality.

When the opportunity arose for me to join I-DEA and become a community coordinator (assisting families with the education of their students) it just seemed like a natural progression for me.

I love working with students and families, helping them understand their options through I-DEA, helping them make good decisions for their students today and for the future.

I have a niche...I am their resource...their friend...their community.

This story was submitted by Shay Angelo who works in the Idaho Distance Education Academy (I-DEA)'s southeast resource center. Shay spends her time as a liaison between I-DEA families and the many resources available to them through the school.

If you'd like to know more about I-DEA's free K-12 (accredited) school-from-home options, check us out online.

Helping students meet their full potentials.

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