Parkview Unit Director
Short Bio: I’m the youngest child of a close knit family with two older brothers. I graduated in May 2015 from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. My plan is to go back for my master’s degree in school social work and mental health. A few hobbies of mine include playing golf, yoga and adding travel locations to my list. It has always been a passion of mine to help others. I strive to do so with a positive attitude and with the approach that there is always hope!
What is your favorite thing about working with BGCDT?: My favorite thing about working with BGCDT is developing a connection with the members. Each member is unique in their own way and has their own story. I enjoy getting to know their story and helping them find their path. Having that connection with the members, being a constant in their life and giving them structure can be incredibly helpful to their future.
What is your favorite memory or moment with the Club over the years?: In the past I’ve led restorative circles with students that focused on owning up to their behavior, discussing why they behaved in such a way and helping them problem solve different ways to react. My favorite memories are when I have witnessed these students in specific situations choose to make the better decision and react in a more positive way. To see these members grow, make positive changes in their life and create their own path is a great thing to witness.
How did you get started with BGCDT?: I first learned about BGC when I attended a charity golf outing of theirs as a child. I liked what the agency represented so when it came time to complete volunteer hours for my major, I knew where I wanted to go. As I began to research careers with graduation approaching, a family friend who serves on the national board of BGCA told me about BGCDT and I was immediately interested. I started out at the Lakewood School site a week after graduation and am now the Unit Director of our Parkview Elementary School site!
If you had to pick one program, activity or event that you enjoy the most at Club, what would it be?: The program I enjoy most at club is one of our national programs, Smart Girls, which I’ve had the opportunity to run. Smart Girls covers a variety of topics such as self-esteem, peer pressure, bullying, puberty, healthy relationships, etc. I enjoy Smart Girls the most because it allows me to properly inform the girls on these topics as well as help them gain a healthier image & mindset towards themselves. Girls at the preteen age are going through many changes that are hard to understand and they can face many challenges as they grow up. I believe it’s important for these young ladies to gain the correct knowledge as well as the strength and confidence to face what may come their way. Smart Girls has allowed for this.
What is your guilty pleasure?: Eating a whole bowl of puppy chow in one sitting while watching reruns of Friends.
What is your favorite TV show and favorite movie?: My favorite TV show is Criminal Minds because I love trying to figure out who committed the crime before the episode is over. My favorite movie is Stand by Me, because any 80’s coming of age story gets me.
Who has had the most influence on your work career?: My supervisor at my senior year social work internship in College. My internship was at a behavior school for teens with mental health & emotional behavioral disorders. The setting was an intense one however, I enjoyed the challenge. I owe so much of my professional and personal growth that year to my supervisor. She allowed me the freedom to take on different tasks and handle various issues and situations on my own. She not only taught me a number of skills I can use in the social work field but also prepared me for just about any scenario that I could encounter. Observing how she establishes a genuine connection with her students is something I admire and strive to model.
What is number one on your bucket list?: To go bungee jumping in an exotic location. I’ve already gone parasailing and zip lining so I’m working my way up there!