to the following staff members on their recent FY2021 Q2 promotions!
GRACE BENEDICT – Senior Program Services Coordinator
What is your favorite food? Potatoes – fries, mashed potatoes, hash browns, chips – I love them all!
What is your favorite musician/band? I’m one of those weird people that isn’t that into music, but I typically go for folk and enjoy The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons.
What is a project you’re working on now? Work-wise, as co-leader of our Language, Culture & Community Committee (LC3), I’m working on continuing to transition our committee from a Spanish-speaking focus to one that is inclusive of speakers of other languages represented in our community. Personally, I’m always trying to perfect the vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe of my dreams.
What is your favorite thing about working at BBBSEM? I love that our work is mission-driven and we can always point back to exactly why we do what we do. It’s what keeps me going through the highs and lows!
What has been a challenge you’ve overcome while working here and what did you learn from it? I have been a remote staff member from day one, so one of my consistent challenges is remaining connected to our team and getting to know others outside the team. I’ve been making it a priority to schedule virtual hangouts with other team members and step up to support others whenever I can. Staying on top of this reminds me of the value of connection and relationships in my own life, which is something that I’m always reminding our Bigs and Littles about as well!
What’s something you’re hoping to learn in your new position? I’m excited for new peer leadership opportunities and hope to continue to improve my leadership skills as an intern supervisor this fall!
ELIZABETH CASEY – Assistant Manager of Program Services
What is your favorite food? Potato chips. Right now it is Lays Dill Pickle Potato Chips.
What is your favorite musician/band? Everything by REM! But I also love country music especially Zac Brown and James Taylor.
What is a project you’re working on now? At home I am working on a project with my husband to build a new deck. We started in June and thought we’d be done by now. As it turns out, and as a result of more people staying home due to COVID, everyone else had similar project ideas and Lumbar has been almost impossible to get! We are finally just about done with the project.
What is your favorite thing about working at BBBSEM? My favorite thing about working at BBBSEM is talking to a Match Party. Especially Littles. Talking to a Little, Big or Guardian can help me to put in to prospective what things are like for other people and how our Bigs really do change the lives of the children they are matched with in a positive and very personal way.
What has been a challenge you’ve overcome while working here and what did you learn from it? Working here during the start of school and community shut downs due to COVID was a challenge. I learned that not only is this agency willing and able to immediately come up with successful ways to continue working with all mentoring programs, but that I could be a part of this new “virtual” chapter in our company. I learned that I could utilize the skills I already developed (as I have always worked remotely at BBBSEM) to help create ways for Littles and Bigs to connect in a meaningful way via virtual outlets.
What’s something you’re hoping to learn in your new position? I am hoping to learn more about the processes behind our agency and how I can be a part of continuing to make it great.
JUSTIN JIMÉNEZ – Senior Program Services Coordinator
What is your favorite food? My favorite food is definitely breakfast food. I love bagels, omelettes, hash browns, smoothies, juice, and coffee, and have always loved breakfast for dinner!
What is your favorite musician/band? I would say that my favorite artists right now are Emily King and Kota the Friend. Emily King was the last concert I saw before the pandemic and she’s an incredible performer!
What is a project you’re working on now? The most recent projects I’ve been working on are helping my mom build a shed and learning how to roller skate. They have definitely come with their falls and frustrations but it’s been fun to work on both of them.
What is your favorite thing about working at BBBSEM? My favorite part of working at BBBSEM is how consistently we strive to make our work better and how that is always tied to better serving the children and families we work with.
What has been a challenge you’ve overcome while working here and what did you learn from it? I think a challenge for me while working here has been learning how to bring all of myself into the work. However, one thing that working at BBBSEM has taught me is that the more of yourself you bring into the work, the stronger the work becomes. I think this really shows when it comes to our DEI committees, our fundraising initiatives, and our relationships with our Bigs, our Littles, and our families.
What’s something you’re hoping to learn in your new position? What I hope to learn in my new position is more about how our work connects to the broader conversation around mentoring in our region and around the country, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to push us to be flexible in how we serve and work with our community.