Edna O’Neill Mattson

How do we build resilient girls? How do you build resiliency in your own life?

Edna O’Neill Mattson has a long history of volunteerism such as with The Navy Relief Society and American Red Cross. She has served on the North Kingstown Personnel Board, North Kingstown Democratic Town Committee – 1st Woman Chair, and helped organize the Rhode Island Democratic City and Town Chair Associations. She served on the Rhode Island Boy Scouts Board and participated as a den mother. At CCRI, she is active with both the CCRI Foundation and Student Leadership Committee. Mattson is still active on a number of committees both at CCRI as well as politically. Presently she serves as a Rhode Island Democratic National Committee Women.

photo by Agapao Productions

The old saying “time flies when you are having fun”—does indeed apply to our lives.

Though not all has been fun—it has all been a “learning experience”—the journey has been long—but then at 79 you’d expect that.

As to my path—I had a Mother who was the best of examples both her love and interaction with our family as well as her fine example of giving back to the community and those in need—always there when someone needed a hand. The ability to cope with situations was learned early on from her—she was my mentor—and started me on my political venture—stuffing envelopes for John F. Kennedy when he first ran for congress– another mentor and fine lady Eleanor Slater, later in my life– encouraged me to become involved locally in North Kingstown, then with the state Democratic party and Democratic National committee–and both shared the same birthday though 5 years apart—each committed to family and politically savvy.

Coping skills are critical in the development and self assurance of all genders and come to us often by example. We each must take pride and respect for ourselves first—in order to pass this along to our sisters.

I have found great satisfaction in volunteering in many areas—as a youngster– a Girl Scout—later as a Gray Lady with American Red Cross—then as a coordinator of volunteer programs at several military hospitals, case work for the Navy Relief Society—a Mission One liaison for the 143rd Tactical Air Group for many years and as an executive board member of the RIESGR with another fine group of individuals concerned with the wellbeing of our military personnel as well as their families. The Military Order of Foreign Wars executive board—providing awards to outstanding student achievers. My many years with CCRI and Foundation and the interaction with Student Government—providing scholarships and seeing young people thrive as they move forth with confidence in the choices that they are making is most rewarding to me.

If each day we can each learn something of value to benefit our world in a positive manner –how much better we all will be. God bless America and our world. CARPE DIEM.