Ann Robinson will always be an educator at heart.
Last summer, however, she had to ask herself a question all too familiar to people with long careers that come to an unexpected end: "Now what am I going to do?"...
A year later, Robinson answered her own question by rediscovering her "artsy" side – and a latent love for dyeing and working with hand-woven textiles.
In a twist, the artist's scarves and wall hangings – all made from natural fibers such as cotton, silk, bamboo, even soy – have become teaching tools.
"When the economy didn't rebound after the first of the year, I started volunteer work at the Women's Wisdom Project in Oak Park," Robinson says.
The program, offered through the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, offers free classes to women to bolster their self-esteem.
Robinson had the teaching skills, and the program didn't have a weaving class. In May, the teacher-turned-artist held her first weekly class at Women's Wisdom; the number of students varies, with 10 to 12 on average. (She now teaches two days a week.)