The Villages Welcomes Millie McDonald, Director of Transitional and Independent Living for Older Youth

We are excited to welcome Millie McDonald to our team. She brings more than 30 years of experience to her new role as Director of Transitional and Independent Living for Older Youth, a program that serves youth 17 and older who are transitioning out of the foster care system. Although new to our staff, Millie has worked with several members of our team in the Fort Wayne area for years.

What are your goals in your new position as Director of Older Youth Services?  I believe that the existing staff in these very key positions are stellar and have an excellent reputation. I just want to come alongside them and continue to create excellent programming and ideas to keep our young adults on the path to success. One specific area we really want to strengthen is our educational outcomes. We see so many youths struggling with the desire and ambition to graduate high school and college.  I want to do everything possible to empower our young people to be the leaders of tomorrow and to see them triumph over all the obstacles that have been thrown at them from powers outside of their control.

What do you see as the primary challenge facing teens in foster care? The primary challenge facing our youth is overcoming the disappointment and abandonment that occurred in their lives. It’s a vicious cycle, and we all know that. Youth in foster care need to know they have value and, most importantly, bright futures despite their upbringing and the statistics. They are victors, not victims!

One thing I would like people to know about teens in foster care… They are resilient! They are longing to belong to find where they fit in and just want to matter as they find their place.

Hobbies: I love to travel, especially to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s beautiful and invigorating. I’ll take a beach with my feet in the sand and a book in hand any day. I love to decorate, plan parties and spend time with my grandkids.

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