Welcome to our series, #WHYoming.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
For this week’s #WHYoming, I had a chance to talk with Jackie Grubb, the Executive Director at Golden Hour Senior Center. Jackie has been working at Golden Hour for five years, of which she has spent two and a half years as the director. With her passion for helping people, Jackie has found that working at Golden Hour is the perfect fit for her, as it is her job to ensure the senior citizens in the community have services, programs, activities, and the nutrition they need to enrich their lives and support their independence.
Jackie loves working at the senior center, as she enjoys getting to know the seniors who spend their time at the center. Many budget cuts are hitting the senior center in sever directions that could impact Golden Hour’s ability to provide meals and activities to their patrons. Jackie asks that the community reach out to our local representatives to express the importance of the senior center’s services to the community.
Jackie, how long have you been working at Golden Hour Senior Center?
I started at Golden Hour on Leap Day, February 29, 2016. I have been here for five years. Two and a half as the office manager and two and a half as the director.
How did you get into this line of work?
My degree is in applied sociology with an emphasis in social organizations. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career helping people, this line of work fits perfectly with my education and my personality.
What is your role as director at Golden Hour?
My role as the director of the senior center is to ensure that the senior citizens of Green River have the services, programs, activities, and nutrition they need to enrich their lives and support their independence while remaining important and invested members of our community. There is a whole lot that goes into that, but everything I do at the senior center is directed towards those goals.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Getting to know the senior citizens in this community, hearing their stories, and learning from their life experiences and wealth of wisdom.
What are some of the challenges facing the senior center is currently facing?
The senior center is facing budget cuts from several different funding sources, this could affect our ability to serve meals, provide activities and programs, and offer a place for senior citizens in the community to go. Talk to your local representatives: city council, county commissioners, state legislators about how important these services are for you, your parents, your grandparents!
How did you end up in Green River?
My husband’s family is here, and we moved to be closer to them.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
I grew up in New York and I appreciate the slower pace of life here, that people know and care about their community members, and that there are so many fun family friendly activities available.
What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, hiking, watching reality competition TV shows.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
Always be the kindest person in the room, or on social media.
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
On any of the walking or hiking paths or trails, especially along the river.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Reese Witherspoon because I admire how influential she has been in bringing books to film and in promoting female characters, actors, and directors.
What would you sing at karaoke?
I wouldn’t sing at karaoke night because I would want people to stay and enjoy themselves.
How would your friends describe you?
They would say I keep them entertained with crazy stories about my life, but also that I’m kind, independent and caring. (They have to say these things, they’re my friends).
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
Starting, working on, and finishing my degree after I had all four of my children.
What is something unique about you?
Everything – at least, I’ve never met anyone else like me yet.
Why do you choose to live in Wyoming?
I think a lot of life events conspired to place me in Wyoming, so sometimes it feels like Wyoming chose me, but I’m also a big believer in blooming where you’re planted, and I choose to stay in Wyoming because I think small population size and wide-open spaces are good for the soul.