Robin Tilley, a 71-year-old widow, was unemployed but she refused to stay home. “You sit at home, you die. I’m not doing this. I’m going to do something,” says Robin. She reached out to National Able Network in Iowa and registered for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

She worked closely with Kristi Erritt, a Client Services Representative, to find the best position for Robin and her skill set. They agreed on a position at New Opportunities, a non-profit organization, in Sac City, Iowa. Robin diligently sifted through donations, organized the food pantry, and much more! She did such a wonderful job that she received a Governor Volunteer Award in 2017! Soon thereafter, Robin was offered and accepted employment at New Opportunities. Robin credits Kristi for listening to her and helping her overcome challenges. “She pushed me and kept me motivated,” said Robin.

“I enjoy this job. It’s the grandest thing. Before this job, I was shy and withdrawn and terrified of people…It’s helped me financially and now I just say what I think, I have a lot more confidence,” said Robin, “I think it’s wonderful. I know I’m helping people in the community and when they come in for the food pantry or they need clothes – I feel like I’m being useful. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something.”

Regarding recommending the program to her fellow older Americans, Robin said: “Jump in with both feet and go for it!”