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Add your comments about Evolve (ALVA)

by Evolve Grads August 18, 2012

Evolve grads have made these comments about the class:

  • “I continue to be amazed by and grateful for the people in this class. Their collective experience, knowledge, and vision give me confidence to forge ahead with my project and life in general.”
  • “This was a most valuable experience for me! Thank you for your work and the great stimulation for my life and my future.”
  • “I see myself a lot differently today than 8 months ago and I like what I see, what I learned.”
  • “I would definitely recommend Evolve to others.”
  • “I feel and hope I have experienced the ground level of a great movement that will continue for a long and fruitful time.”
  • “I love the rigor!!”
  • “This class has been a wonderful experience for me, primarily because of the other people in my class. I look forward to participating in the EvolvingConnections and maintaining the relationships I’ve formed in the class.”
  • “The course forced me to confront and deal with issues of personal leadership. It helped me clarify my views, biases and motivations. It also helped me overcome an odd hesitance to begin to implement a lifework project that has been on an back burner for years.”
  • “I am amazed at the caliber of the projects underway. I have made some good contacts for the future. Good class!”
  • “The class was transformational! The information was a catalyst but the other participants were the key ingredient in producing the transformation. Keep the focus on experiential.”
  • “Seeds were sown. Some will grow and be beneficial for the rest of my life. Seeds are always around yet less and less seeds come to people in their later decades. Thank you!”

What would you add?


Julie Roles - September 10, 2014
Thanks, Lisa Cook, for sharing a great blog about a one-year reunion of her Evolve class. At:

Mary Jo Schifsky - August 27, 2012
The ALVA program introduced me to a range of people and resources in the aging services community which, if on my own, would have taken me years to identify and meet. Completing the certificate program equipped me to assume the leadership role I have at Store To Door--and gave me a foundation of contacts I still draw on frequently for assistance and support. I recommend Evolve often when talking with others seeking help with making a career change.

Renee Ehlenz St. Cloud - August 27, 2012
Why wait till retirement - this class should be given to all college freshmen - what a great tool to help determine your path. I looked forward to every Friday when we'd meet new people, new ideas, new concepts and new technology. AND, we had a fantastic group of people to share in our endeavors and cheer us on. Thanks EVOLVE!

Mary Peterson - August 23, 2012 - August 23, 2012
Participating in the 2011-12 Evolve class was exactly what I needed to help me develop my leadership skills and guide me in my search for an Encore career. The sharing with classmates and the network of new friends as a result of this class is priceless.

Jim Betzold - May 2011 - August 21, 2012
The project was designed around your passion to help develop your leadership within that passion. Because of the research I had to do, I had to talk to many companies that could help in developing my passion. After getting to know several companies one asked many questions of me (it was an interview) that same day they offered me a position with their company and I still work there. Why not get a job in your passion.

Carol Neumann - August 20, 2012
The experience was amazing for me and the growth I made was not just from the instructor and from the lessons, but also from the amazing people in the class I would have not met otherwise. We are getting together regularly still as we are connected and genuinely care about each other and what each is trying to do. It has given me tools that I can use in future endeavors. I thank you for giving me this opportunity and hope others have the same chance I did.

Bette Forberg - August 20, 2012
Every session was valuable to growth in my retirement journey. Looking back, by far the most important transformation that happened for me is that many barriers to creative thinking were removed and I have been able to grow and develop into a much more productive citizen as a result of what I learned and experienced! It was a wonderful class and one I am so happy I was able to experience! Highly recommend for all newly retireds!

Karen Moore - August 20, 2012
Evolve (known as ALVA when I participated)helped me clarify what was important to me for a fulfilling post-career life. The people in the class provided real-life examples of diverse outlooks and approaches. Through class discussion and an informal book group, my ALVA colleagues encouraged reading, thinking, and discussion of a variety of topics and concepts I would not have otherwise considered.

Cathy Lue - August 20, 2012
The Evolve/ALVA class was outstanding! And I throughly enjoyed the leaders, staff, and my classmates. The overall experience gave me the inspiration and tools to develop a project that I probably would not have started otherwise. Thank you Mary K, Julie, Mark, and Linda.

Kitty Engle - August 20, 2012
I enjoyed the class tremendously!The class gave me a chance to sort out all of the possiblities of my future and focus on one direction. So many talented, yet "down to earth" people attended. I am now nearing retirement and will be seeking volunteer work in my community.

Susan Fink - August 20, 2012
The class has helped me become less hesitant to jump in to projects related to my passions. It seems that by sharing my dreams with others, things happen.

Lisa Cook - August 20, 2012
Evolve has been invaluable in terms of the leadership development training and the lifelong network I developing with my classmates and Evolve/Alva alumni. There is a unique bond that forms when individuals are working for the common good over an 8 month period. I am very grateful for the opportunity to complete this program and to continue meeting with my class through our reunions. (Special thanks to Mark, Julie and VAN leadership and to my employer for supporting my participation!)

Norma Olson - August 20, 2012
Sometimes retirement is our goal, but what comes next is hard to define. This class was a great way to 'think out of the box' and set goals for the next chapter of my life. Great support, great class!

Chris Wilson - August 19, 2012
The perspective and positive energy of everyone in this class has helped me to focus on workable steps for me to reach the realization of my vision. This supportive network brings joy and strength to the challenges. Thank you for your work!

John M. Bowden - August 19, 2012
Even with all of my graduate work in leadership I found the workshop to be great. The speakers who we heard had a depth to them that I appreciated. But most important of all as a new comer to St. Cloud I was able to network with many new people.


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