Gay Beattie was a board member for the Institute for Attachment and Child Development so long she can’t remember when she first joined. In fact, the staff at IACD doesn’t even know how long Gay has been cheering them along. She’d been a board member longer than most of the current staff have worked at IACD. “I’d say it was from day 1, but that’s not very official,” Claire Szafraniec said with a laugh. “Gay has just always been here for us. That’s what I know.” Before she retired from the board, Gay shared what kept her at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development for so long.
Gay’s service to the Institute for Attachment and Child Development began with a question. She wondered why she and her colleagues couldn’t help certain kids through their own non-profit work. Years ago, Gay helped to begin a non-profit agency to assist teenagers who’d been in trouble with the law called Project Pride (now Fresh Start). The teenagers each had a minimum of two convictions of robbery, burglary, assault, or murder. The staff at Project Pride provided the teens with comprehensive services including alternative schools, job training and attainment, and alcohol and drug recovery programs. Many of the teenagers thrived in the program. However, Gay and the rest of the staff couldn’t understand why a select few always seemed to sabotage their own success. “They were smart and had so much to offer. Yet, they would just blow it off,” Gay said. “It just gets to you. We just kept thinking, ‘Why?’”
During her work with non-profit agencies in Denver, Gay came across her answer through the Institute for Attachment and Child Development. As she listened to IACD staff describe the struggles of kids with reactive attachment disorder, she had an epiphany. They seemed to describe the children whom she and the other staff couldn’t reach at Project Pride. The more Gay learned about the Institute for Attachment and Child Development, the more invested she became. Out of her quest for information grew a mission of her own—to keep the Institute for Attachment and Child Development growing and thriving. That’s how she became, and stayed, a board member. “Just to learn the success rates of the Institute kept me going. I know that what IACD does works,” she said. “It must continue to grow and thrive. There’s no where else like it anywhere for kids with reactive attachment disorder.”
After several years of devotion to the mission of the Institute for Attachment and Child Development, Gay has decided to pass along her role to the next person. She feels as though a new and fresh perspective is due and wishes to pursue her own personal talents and passions. “We’ll miss Gay very much. She’s been a vital part of the Institute and has given so much to thousands of children and families through her service,” said Forrest Lien, Executive Director at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development, “However, we know she’ll always be there cheering us along.”
Please help to further Gay Beattie’s mission to help families struggling with reactive attachment disorder.
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