Millie’s Devine Life

Mack Jackson, Layout Editor

Millie Devine, the founder of the Southeastern CT Women’s Network and the co-founder of Safe Futures, recently published her autobiography Sunrise Sunset. During a string of promotional events for her book, the WHS Journalism staff had a chance to sit and talk with her about her accomplishments at Waterford High School.

Millie was very involved during high school. She actively participated in business classes and clubs and was not only the first violinist to go to WHS, but a member of the first graduating class. Ever since she was young, Millie had an interest in accounting and budgeting. As a child, she would keep track of and budget her allowance. While the high school did not have a strong program for this at the time, Millie was able to utilize her skill set working at Sears.Millie recalled a story where her boss asked if any of the workers knew algebra, an attempt to show Millie how her skills learned in school could be reflected in the real world. These skills would later benefit her in a successful career of mathematics.

A conflict Millie often faced during her time at WHS was the attitude of the administration and teachers. Her mother taught in the district which led to teachers often having different expectations for her compared to the rest of the students. With the strong foundation she set up for herself, Millie set off to a work-study program in Boston after graduating from secretarial school. After the office she was working out of relocated, she moved back to Waterford to start the hunt for a new job. Her father found a position for her at a bank, but Millie refused. Insisting on finding a job independently, she went to the unemployment office. Ironically, the same job was presented to her. She accepted, but years later the company had a large wave of layoffs. Ultimately, Millie started her own consulting firm, aptly named Devine Consulting. She would help businesses and organizations get their start, including organizations like Safe Futures which she went on to co-found. During this time, the president of Dime Bank was serving on a nonprofit board with her. In a lunch meeting, he invited her to start a trust department at the bank, which she agreed to and spent 10 years working in until retirement. When Safe Futures was founded 45 years ago, it was done so due to the lack of domestic violence awareness. After setting up the foundation, the crisis calls placed to the hotline made Millie and her team realize just how large their need was for Safe Futures.

Her last three years have been spent writing her first book titled Sunrise Sunset: Millie’s Divine Journey. Published on the fourth of July, the book goes into detail about Millie’s journey in creating Safe Futures and the Southeastern Connecticut’s Women’s Network. The cover was illustrated by her sister who double majored in Art and English. The illustration represents the metaphor “You never knew where the pods of the plant will land,” which translates to you never know the number of people you can impact.