• Felecia Gilmore-Long

Meet Valerie | cdc monthly - May 2018

"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children...the good life for our own children can only be secured if it is also secured for all other people's children." -- Dr. Lilian Katz, renowned educator

Valerie Gordon is definitely one of those special people whose love for her own children is matched by her passion to help other people's kids find success.

After a successful career at USAA, this Army veteran and mother of three chose a new career path focused on creating opportunities for other Tampa Bay youth.

Valerie joined CDC of Tampa in 2012 manager for our out-of-school time program at Van Buren Middle School, after creating successful experiences for youth at Pepin Academy and the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance.

"The emphasis of our out-of-school-time program is on building skills all kids need to have," Gordon says.

Decision-making, communicating, team-building, reading, math and financial literacy are just some of the many skills Valerie helps Van Buren students develop.

Financial literacy skills are a particular passion of Valerie's. In addition to her role with CDC of Tampa, she is the founder and CEO of AHA Impact Coaching, LLC--a personalized financial coaching service where financial literacy is held up as essential. "Whether young or older, lack of financial stability affects us emotionally, physically and spiritually," Gordon teaches in coaching workshops.

It is this passion and expertise for advancing financial literacy that recently garnered Valerie recognition from the Women's Council of Bay Area Realists, Inc. Council President Ida Campbell noted Gordon's professionalism, passion for serving others and profound work ethic in the Council's recent letter of congratulations.

Always humble, Valerie reacted to her award by saying "I'm truly honored to be recognized, but I also think that anytime someone is raised up, it's an opportunity to acknowledge the 'village' of people it takes to help that her make an impact.

When it comes to helping Van Buren kids succeed, Valerie says that her award belongs just as much to the amazing volunteers she works work side-by-side with to teach financial skills, as well as the incredible Van Buren staff who welcome her to campus four days a week, all school-year long.

"At the end of the day," she says, "it's about relationships....and the most rewarding part of what I do will always be seeing students grow into capable young women and men."

And anyone who spends even a few minutes with Valerie knows this to be something she believes--whether she's talking about the 62 students she served at Van Buren during the 2017-18 school year, or the three special sweethearts who call her "Mom."

Valerie: At, CDC of Tampa we are proud to call you a colleague and friend. We congratulate you on a well-deserved award. And, we thank you for caring for so many young people in our community who are building brighter tomorrows every day because of you!




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