Celebrating A Career in Service to Children & Families


Child care professionals are used to working in the background, putting the spotlight where it belongs – on the kids they help nurture and grow.

But it’s time to acknowledge a true superstar in our midst, as the Extend-A-Care YMCA’s Jackie Milligan moves into the next chapter of her life after 35 years with Extend-A-Care and the Y. There aren’t enough words to say how much she has mean to our family and the work we do here.

Jackie started in 1984 when there were 24 Extend-A-Care afterschool programs. She knew EAC co-founder Margaret Gregg and worked under all four EAC Executive Directors (Rose Lancaster, La Verne Rodriguez, Joan Altobelli and Jaime Garcia).

For years, Jackie has been the most dedicated director on the team. It takes a true medical emergency for her to call in sick – she is always here. She is the director that will go to an apartment complex and knock on every door to find a child that got on a bus instead of coming to the afterschool program. Parents, children, and school staff adore Jackie – she is always at her programs to build as many relationships as possible. There is not one child in her multiple programs who doesn’t know and appreciate Mrs. Jackie.  

“Jackie has been an inspiration to many,” said JaNet Barkley-Booher, Extend-A-Care Y Board Member. “Her life and work have positively impacted thousands of children and families. Although she doesn’t hear it from many parents, she has provided a safe haven for their children, giving parents peace-of-mind to work and build job skills.” 

“We cannot thank Jackie enough for everything she has done,” said Jaime Garcia, Extend-A-Care YMCA Executive Director. “We all are going to miss her wisdom, dedication, enthusiasm, and smile. We are so thankful that Jackie chose EAC to channel her passion for impacting our youth.”

Jackie’s parting words consisted of, “You will also experience difficult times and challenging days and realize that, some of those big things were actually the small things.  I’ve lived this.  There is a saying, ‘Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  Be kind always.” As you work tirelessly until the end of each day, I will think of you.  The blood, sweat and tears it takes to get your job done, it’s not an easy task, but the children need us and are counting on us. We do this every day.”  

Congratulations, Jackie, on your retirement after 35 years with Extend-A-Care and the EAC Y. Thank you for all you have done for Central Texas children and families!

All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

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