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Hello Empowered Aging Family,

I am just so thrilled to be here, writing to you today. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind – in the best possible way. And I wanted to officially introduce myself by sharing a little story, which goes something like this.

Today was a nine-bunny day. I don’t know about you, but I always like to start my day with a little movement. A lot of times, that looks like a nice long walk with my big old rescue dog Ziggy to count bunnies. So, as often as we can, we pick one of the many trails by my house and take off to complete our mission. Not every day is the same. Today we saw nine, some days, we’ve seen nineteen or twenty, and other days we may see no more than four.

Really, it doesn’t matter how many bunnies we see. What does matter is that Ziggy and I are walking in the sunshine and finding peace. It’s breathing in the fresh air and taking the time to do something good for my mind and body. Counting bunnies, for me, represents work-life balance, staying positive, and remembering to find the good things in life, no matter how small or furry. It doesn’t matter what else is going on in life. We’re still going to get out there and find those bunnies because that makes me happy. I’m sure many of you can relate, and I would love to hear – what are some of those moments of happiness, or maybe the mantras, that keep you going?

It’s a true honor to have the opportunity to do this work and be a part of this team. To lead a passionate and dedicated group of staff working towards a common mission is a privilege that inspires me every single day. Empowered Aging has become a voice for older adults and adults with disabilities throughout our communities, enabling them to thrive with dignity and independence for as long as possible. I look forward to continuing partnerships, recognizing all of our supporters – funders, volunteers, and donors – and building upon the foundation of the last 50+ years to take us well into the future.

If you have any questions or need any help, please feel free to get in touch with me by sending an email to, and don’t forget to follow me on LinkedIn!

Best wishes,


Susannah Meyer
Executive Director

Empowered Aging is proud to announce that our former Ombudsman Support Specialist, Kiev Harris, has been promoted to Regional Supervisor in Alameda County.

Kiev joined the Empowered Aging team in late 2019, bringing more than 12 years of social service work experience. In addition to his Ombudsman Support Specialist role here, Kiev has served in multiple capacities throughout his career, including a case manager for homeless families, an intensive care coordinator for adolescent youth, an advocate for the reentry population and the sexually exploited, and as a benefits specialist for the elderly.

“Kiev has demonstrated dedication and devotion in meeting the needs of residents in Alameda County for nearly three years,” said Alameda Ombudsman Program Manager, Charmaine Brent. “He ensures that residents are free from abuse and neglect and has established himself as a viable resource to the residents he serves. Kiev is fiercely passionate about ensuring every resident receives quality care and a thriving quality of life. We all are excited about Kiev’s promotion and look forward to his continued growth and the growth of our team as he steps into his new role as a Regional Supervisor in Alameda County.”

Kiev believes that improving another person’s life is as simple as a handshake, a smile, or a short conversation. He intentionally devotes his time and effort to pouring back into his community.

Congratulations, Kiev!

You may have noticed some new accessibility changes to our website. But if not, we’re excited to share that we have multi-language and translation capabilities. In addition to English, there is now an option to select one of eight languages, including Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Persian, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese, which can be found right above our top navigation. Alongside these language accessibility updates, some color adjustments have been made to the green hues throughout the site addressing contrast issues to help with visibility for those with impaired vision, making our website compliant with the latest ADA Standards. We want to send a big thank you to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the City of Antioch Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for funding these changes, as well as Paul Jacobsohn with Digital Services for making this all happen.

If you’ve been looking for a way to give back, this is your sign. Your opportunity is right here because without volunteers like you, our mission would not be possible to ensure:

• Older adults remain engaged in their communities
• Residents and their families are empowered to speak up
• Community members spread awareness to combat ageism, abuse, and neglect

And so much more. If you would like to be a part of our life-changing work, you can learn more about our volunteer openings by visiting

Create a fundraiser this month through our Facebook page or MightyCause Donation page in honor of your birthday, an anniversary, or Elder Abuse Awareness Month! The funds you raise will fight abuse, neglect, and isolation while empowering older adults, so they know they are heard and not alone.