Development Specialist, Joint Council for Economic Opportunity (JCEO)
Hometown: Peru, NY
Education: BA, Binghamton University
Community Involvement: ADKYP, Plattsburgh Noon Rotary Club, Good Scout Award Dinner Committee, JCEO’s Community Action Angels
What’s your biggest professional success?
In April, I facilitated a Poverty Simulation—an event where participants try to meet their basic needs while living in poverty. I coordinated the event and facilitated a discussion at the end for over 60 participants and volunteers. It was so rewarding to see the participants gain a new perspective about poverty and know that I helped make that happen.
What’s your dream job?
I can’t say I’ve ever had a “dream” job because I’m constantly discovering new interests and opportunities. However I know I like working with a team and I love change. I like to look at the big picture and see how processes can be improved.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I try my best not to check email at night or on the weekend. I have to remind myself that almost everything can wait until Monday!
What important lessons have you learned in your career?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. I think most people are more than happy to give guidance to someone just starting their career.
What’s the most exciting trend happening in the community right now?
I love the new restaurants and breweries that have popped up in Plattsburgh. Valcour Brewing, Our House Bistro, and Blue Collar Bistro are my favorites!
What would make the North Country a more enjoyable place to live and work?
More bike lanes throughout the city. I recently visited Copenhagen and was amazed at how easy and safe it is to bike throughout the whole city.
Who is your mentor and what have you learned from him/her?
My mom taught me many lessons I carry into my work life. If I’m frustrated or unsure about a situation, she reminds me that you can only control your own actions—not those of others. At the end of the day, you have to keep moving forward.
How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
I take part in JCEO’s Quality of Work Life Committee. Recently, we started a walking challenge to get people moving—it’s gotten quite competitive!
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
I accepted a job to teach English abroad after college, but when I got there, it wasn’t what I had hoped or expected. I decided to come home and a few months later, I was hired at JCEO. Leaving a bad situation was the right thing to do and led me to where I am now.
What is something that no one would guess about you?
I love Asian food, crossword puzzles, and I’m constantly researching new places to travel!
Write a brief note to your younger self…
Keep exploring—every experience, good or bad, will teach you something.