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Carolyn Bogott: Strengthening Families & Communities

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

“Without strong families, we will struggle to have strong children and a strong community.

This is the belief and the purpose that drives the work of Jayne Gibson, executive director of Austin Aspires.  Gibson’s passion for nurturing children began right here in Austin with her large birth family and in helping with her mother’s home daycare. This focus on the family stayed with her while she served in the Marine Corps and later, became a Marine Corps wife, moving from duty station to duty station, both stateside as well as in Okinawa, Japan.  As a non-traditional student with four children, she earned a bachelors degree in psychology and math, as well as a license to teach elementary education. While in school, Jayne held various positions within education.

Executive Director Jayne Gibson

After earning her teaching license, she became a third grade teacher, with the Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Okinawa. When her husband retired from the Marines, the Gibson family returned to Jayne’s hometown of Austin. Here she taught at Austin High School and Banfield Elementary, before serving as the curriculum coordinator, principal at Woodson Kindergarten Center and Banfield Elementary. With more graduate education, Jayne moved on to work district level jobs in Shakopee and in Rochester. Today Jayne is ardent about her work for Austin Aspires. 

“This position allows me to tap deeply into my passion and my love of supporting children and families,” she said.

Austin Aspires is nearly 10 years old;

however, there are some that are unaware of this important community-building enterprise which came out of the Vision 2020 project. 

Jayne’s enthusiasm for this work is evident as she describes the programming of Austin Aspires for the benefit of our children from “cradle to career.” Jayne emphasizes that the work Austin Aspires does is only possible due to tremendous community partners and gracious donors. Austin Aspires serves as a coordinating body and a one-stop resource for services in our community for the education of the whole child.

In 2022, Austin Aspires staff worked closely with over 800 families to provide access to food support, legal support, transportation services, childcare, medical services, and so much more. Referrals come from the medical clinic, the county, the city, the schools, partner organizations or anywhere the needs of families and children are noticed.

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