GREENVILLE - Shirley Hathaway has been a resident of Greenville her whole life, and through that time she has been working hard to support local youth through her 31 years as executive director of Council on Rural Services Programs (CORSP).
Hathaway has worked at Flint’s (now Vint’s), the City of Greenville Utility Department, and in several roles at CORSP, beginning as an administrative assistant and working her way up to executive director. Now, Hathaway has announced her retirement, but she’s not going to travel to California to relax and enjoy the sunshine, she’s going to continue her education and wants to keep helping others through yoga therapy.
“The decision to retire was a hard one because I love the mission of Council on Rural Services, its values, and its belief in the human potential regardless of ones vulnerabilities,” Hathaway stated. “However, I am ready to take more time with my family and take my practice of yoga therapy to helping people improve their health. It is certainly my intention to volunteer my time with non-profits and other social groups.”
Hathaway will begin a master’s study program in January to build her skills as a yoga therapist, she said, to teach people with certain health conditions to better manage their own health.
“I believe that people have great will to live a life that is healthy and happy. I would find it rewarding to help open up their understanding of how to help themselves,” Hathaway noted.
Hathaway’s work with Council On Rural Services has allowed her to do that for years, she said.
“Through my work at Council on Rural Services, I have been able to work with many great people who believe that everyone has the potential to grow, learn and seek their higher potential,” she said. “This put me in positions to work on committees with other community minded people and be a voice to empower others to make the most of living here.”
Some of Hathaway’s favorite aspects of being with CORSP were watching the children explore, learn and have fun; getting a chance to see the difference the many programs of CORSP make on the lives of children and youth in Darke County and surrounding areas; and the staff’s dedication and passion to help Darke County parents and children make a better life for themselves, she shared, and her work has affected her personal life, as well.
“I have four grown children who where also born and raised here, but have chosen to take their careers elsewhere…Throughout their lives, they were all immersed in the work of Council on Rural Services and continue to live a life of social consciousness,” Hathaway noted.
Currently, Hathaway is immersed in the community, being a part of the National Head Start Association, Ohio Head Start Association, Clear Cree Farm group home board of trustees, Edison Community College Human Services Council, area Chambers of Commerce, and the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Hathaway was also a long-time member of the Greenville Rotary, and served as the first-ever female president of that group.
“In the early 90s when I first joined, the membership was mostly male. But as they were known to do, they embraced the service that the women club members provided and supported - actually encouraged me to run for the president office,” Hathaway recalled. “One of the sweetest things that happened was when Ernie Myers made me a carpeted box to step on so that I could be seen over the podium.”
Hathaway will be going to California for a while to continue her education in yoga therapy, but will miss her hometown.
“I was born and raised in Greenville and except when I was away at college, I have always lived here,” Hathaway commented. “I like the sense of family that one has when you live in a rural community. You know people and build lasting relationships with neighbors, co-workers, teachers, and schoolmates. People I know here are proud of our community and their contributions in it.”