After 23 years of service to LifeWorks and the youth and young adults of Austin, we wish to congratulate Steve Bewsey on his retirement.
When Steve Bewsey was invited to the White House to be honored by President Obama in 2012, he sent a letter to officials that contained two pictures. One of them was Steve in a Hawaiian shirt and beach shorts, the other was of him in a Santa outfit. Steve’s letter asked, “Which do you prefer?”
The White House opted for the beach shorts, but in Austin, Steve is best known as Santa’s doppelganger.
Steve has always had a different approach to helping young people. “Steve always tells me to let the kids work their problems out for themselves. Don’t try to work it out for them. All you have to do is support them,” said Scurry Miller.
What makes Steve one of the best at working with kids is his confidence in the kids while still having a good sense of humor and staying relaxed. Steve says the hardest part of his job has been getting people to calm down and letting them know that just because a young person is in foster care does not mean that there is something wrong with them.
Steve doesn’t think of himself as changing young people. He said that the biggest myth is that kids need to be changed. The kids come to Lifeworks because they want to get through their problems and he views his role as someone who’s there to support them.
As Steve often says: “The kid isn’t the problem; the problem is the problem.”
“The greatest thing about Steve is that he holds no judgment whatsoever. He treats everyone with respect and dignity,” said Wendy Varnell.
In Steve’s 23 years at LifeWorks he has: been a foster parent to 52 kids; raised $300,000 for Lifeworks; and been a devoted counselor to multitudes of young people. Now, after 30+ years of working, he will be joining his wife, Mary Lou, who Steve says is the most important part of his life, in North Padre Island. Happy retirement, Steve!