I was a student in the Pace Encore Transition Program at which Astrid was a presenter. Her Designing Your Encore Life workshop gave me both practical and psychological insights and helped me manage my transition in ways that were unexpected and highly positive. The possibilities of an Encore life were overwhelming to me and, despite my years of corporate employment law, I was now unfocused. Who was I? What had I done that was transferable? What was it I wanted to transfer? What did I really want or think I wanted?
Astrid’s workshop required me to answer those questions and more. She asked about core values, interests, tolerances, passions, work and life experience. She listened carefully to the answers many of the students volunteered, and gave concrete suggestions as to how to develop a plan to move forward in a meaningful way. She did not offer one solution to fit all but, rather, paid careful attention to the needs and desires of each student who chose to share. The experience was empowering.
I was not alone in this feeling. From being a student in her workshop, I transitioned into being an active partner in the Pace Encore Transition Program’s continuing development. I saw in subsequent classes how Astrid’s questions and the sharing of her life experiences resonated with the students, how much joy they got out of watching her build stories for the students out of their answers to her questions and their listing of their life experiences — stories they could use for their next acts. I saw them come alive, cast off their fears of transition and become genuinely excited and optimistic about the prospects for their second acts for the greater good. I look forward to one day soon working again with Astrid, this time on a one-to-one basis, as my own transition continues to evolve.
—Constance Harris, Assistant Director, Pace University Encore Transitions Program