High Country Hero: Susan Bridges Robertson | SummitDaily.com

High Country Hero: Susan Bridges Robertson

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

How do you support/promote integration in your everyday life?I try to be an example for my two kids, Zach and Alyssa. I try to expose them to different cultures and to different languages, and I give them opportunities to interact with my African friends. We read a lot of folk tales from around the world, and talk about life in other places. Zach attends the Dual Language Program at Dillon Valley, so he’s learning firsthand what fun it is to have friends who speak different languages.

Share an experience that has had an impact on you in regards to integration.I grew up in Denver and attended Denver Public Schools during the era of busing. From third to sixth grade, I was bussed to a primarily black neighborhood on the other side of the city. I remember the playground conflicts that occurred between the kids the first year or two of integration and lots of kids being called names, but those conflicts didn’t last. Being in school together in that environment, we figured out that we were all just kids, and the color of our skin didn’t matter. I sometimes wonder how my life would be different if I hadn’t had that early experience of being the minority in a formerly almost all-black school.

What words of wisdom would you pass onto the community? It is natural to feel uncomfortable around people who are different from you, whether they speak a different language, or look different, or have a disability, or whatever the case may be.

The big thing is to not let that discomfort get the best of you.It is a lot more fun to make a new friend than to pass up an opportunity because you feel uncomfortable. This is the first installment of a new monthly feature. If you have any questions, have suggestions for next month’s hero, or would like to get involved, call Erin Head at (970) 262-3888, ext. 315.

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