Staff Appreciation Spotlight – Julio Palencia


Staff Appreciation Spotlight – Julio Palencia

by Katie Walter
Posted March 15, 2024

Meet Julio Palencia, a Match Support Team Mastermind

Staff Appreciation Spotlight

When Julio Palencia was in undergrad at Bowdoin College, he took a chance and signed up to mentor youth through a campus-based program. During this time, he saw the direct impact he could have on a young person’s life by simply showing up. Now as an adult, he plays an integral part in shaping the campus-based programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts as a Program Services Coordinator for the nonprofit’s Match Support Team.

In this role, Julio works to nurture and sustain the Big and Little experience for all who participate in the agency’s Franklin Field – Boston College Campus Based Program for which youth are bused from Dorchester to the college campus to meet with their mentors, BC students, on the weekends. He can often be found at the school helping to recruit mentors and build rapport among participating youth.

Behind the scenes, Julio works with guardians to match youth with adults with common backgrounds, interests, and personalities. Then, he supports matches throughout their relationships, helping mentors and mentees to develop what Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts refers to as the 6 C’s– Curiosity, Character, Connection, Caring, Competency and Confidence – measuring tangible benchmarks and growth and delivering tailored guidance and assistance to volunteers and families along the way.

“My experience as a Big during my undergraduate studies inspired my decision to join BBBSEM. Seeing all my Franklin Field Littles on Saturdays makes it worthwhile,” stated Julio.

Beyond his work with the Match Support team, Julio is a team builder who helps to foster a fun and inclusive office environment. He often facilitates movie nights for new and veteran staff members on Tuesday evenings. He is also an active participant and volunteer during the nonprofit’s signature fundraising events, and a member of the agency’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee.

Julio’s passion for mentoring, community, and making a difference are infectious. As a member of the LatinX community, his leadership is critical in helping the agency to serve mentoring matches and families that speak Spanish. He goes above and beyond his role to ensure effective communication and to help matches build understanding and celebrate each other’s cultures and identities.

“Julio cares deeply for the matches and families he works with, and is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure they feel supported in our program. More so, he extends this same care to his teammates, and is a leading force in fostering a culture of connection, community, and fun on our team,” stated Becca Feldman, Julio’s supervisor.

As we continue to show appreciation for our staff members this March, we can’t help but give a huge thank you to Julio! He is a reason why our mentoring matches are so successful and often continue when youth age out of our programs.

Looking to make a BIG difference in young people’s lives? Learn more and view our job openings here!

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