Today marks Carolyn Rooker’s final day as executive director at Voices for Children in Nebraska. Over the past five years, Carolyn has been the driving force behind the growth of Voices for Children and has laid a strong foundation for policy change that will reshape the lives of children across Nebraska. While all of us will miss Carolyn, we are excited for her as she begins a new adventure at Siemens, and know that she will always remain an advocate for Nebraska’s kids.
At the core of Carolyn’s beliefs is the idea that all children deserve the chance to grow in to happy and healthy adults. This passion for helping children was forged early in her career as a social worker at an emergency children’s homeless shelter and case manager at an adolescent day treatment program. Carolyn has never lost track of the shared responsibility we all have to help children in our communities, and has been deeply committed to seeing that they have a voice that speaks for them.
Those who have worked with Carolyn know her desire for positive change is matched only by her enthusiasm. Whether it was creating the Race Matters Conference, working long hours to make each Spotlight Gala happen, or gearing up for Kids Count, Carolyn takes on new projects with an infectious excitement and outgoing personality that brings people together and fosters cooperation.
We’re going to miss working with Carolyn, and we join child advocates across the state in offering thanks for her work for kids:
“I have had the honor to work with Carolyn for the last five years, and Nebraska is a better place for children and families thanks to her passionate advocacy on their behalf. Carolyn has always emphasized telling the ‘whole story’ and finding ways to bring different perspectives together for the benefits of our kids. Nebraska’s Voices for Children is a stronger organization thanks to Carolyn’s leadership, and I know that Voices for Children’s next leader will be building on her legacy. I wish Carolyn well on her new endeavors and I look forward to partnering with Voices for Children’s next leader.”– Dave Newell, President and CEO, Nebraska Families Collaborative
“You have left a mark on our great State of Nebraska! You have led the charge to educate communities, policy makers, businesses, and just about anyone that would listen to you! You have been relentless in your pursuit to increase awareness and make positive changes for all children and families in Nebraska. A quote that I love by Nelson Mandela – “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” . . . Through your leadership you have created a ripple of change, you have provided education so that others may better understand the needs of children and families living in Nebraska! Best wishes to you on your new adventures.” –Treva Haugaard, Executive Director, GOALS Center
“Carolyn was a master at getting me to say “YES.” Her presence at the Capitol will truly be missed.” – State Senator Colby Coash
“As a state senator I was always happy to see Carolyn Rooker because I knew she would bring her contagious positive attitude, impeccable research, and an unyielding passion to fighting for kids and families in the halls of power. She will be missed in this role but her impact is clear. She will no doubt continue to positively serve her fellow Nebraskans . Quite simply she rocks!” – Danielle Conrad, ACLU of Nebraska
Carolyn’s legacy is felt across Nebraska, where there are stronger families, healthier children and safer communities because of her work.
From all of us at Voices for Children, thank you Carolyn, for all you have done for Nebraska’s kids.