Susan McConnell in her own words.

What’s on your bucket list? Getting the free-range young adults in our family (my children) launched. Completing my doctorate degree in social work at the University of Southern California, a three-year program, at Christmas time 2023. Writing a book on the importance of advocacy for girls and women. What is perfect happiness? My family around our dinner table for one of their birthdays. A historical figure you admire? Katharine Graham and Steve Jobs for their tenacity. Traits you admire in others? Respect, inclusion, generosity, subtle humor, intense humor. Dislike in others? Disrespect, exclusion, closed mindedness, cruelty. Your greatest achievement? Creating a large and harmonious family through marriage, birth, and adoption. And maintaining a long and loving marriage with my best friend. Values you hope to impart to your children? Kindness, inclusion, generosity, hard work. Favorite movie? The “Star Wars” series. Life lessons that make us better human beings. If you could have one superpower? To spend time with those who we loved who have left this earth. Personal motto? Never give up and never be ordinary. Favorite quote? Some questions don’t have answers, a terribly difficult lesson to learn (Katharine Graham). How has starting a nonprofit changed you? It’s given me a new appreciation for teamwork. Our board of directors, our staff, and our volunteers have incredible passion for our mission. You get so much further with a team, and even further with the right team. Favorite place to visit? My heart lives on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. I go there every chance I get. Any regrets? Not bringing more children into our family. Advice to others who want to make a difference. Be afraid to try something new but do it anyway. It boosts your creativity. Having alone time is good but avoid long-term isolation. Always forgive, do it quickly, and move on. Don’t waste time keeping your people in a time out. Volunteer. Give your time and talent to others, to those who need you the most, in small ways and in big ways. Hang out with those whose eyes light up when you walk in the room. Be the caregiver for your aging parents. Always have a rescue dog, or two, by your side.