Editor’s Note: Jen Goettemoeller has been a major influence in shaping early childhood public policy in Nebraska for more than a decade. Her vision and leadership have been a powerful force in the lives of thousands of our state’s youngest, most vulnerable citizens. Said FFN Director Becky Veak, “Jen’s departure from First Five Nebraska will be keenly felt by those of us who continue to promote high-quality early care and learning experiences for children at risk statewide. It’s good to know that this work remains close to Jen’s heart and, happily, we are enriched by the wealth of expertise she’s brought to us. It’s an impression that will last a lifetime.”
I’ve been fortunate to stand in a distinct space—a space where decades of groundwork had already been poured; a space where we transformed the way the conversation was received; a space from which one can see the real possibilities of the future for young children who face serious obstacles to their development.
With much gratitude, I leave First Five Nebraska today to focus on family needs. I know FFN will continue to lead the charge for the most effective, most accountable public policies for young children at risk of school failure.
Our work across party lines is more important than ever. Building relationships and systems that last beyond one person’s contribution, beyond economic ups and downs, beyond term limits takes a strategic approach focused not on quick wins, but on building Nebraska together. “Together” is hard. “Together” includes those on the other side of the aisle with whom you may not always agree, those with whom you often don’t know how to begin the conversation. “Together” takes time.
We’ve shared some of those successes, and there are many more on the horizon. Thank you for investing in what we have done—and will continue to do—together.
Senior Policy Associate