Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Team Member Spotlight: Hillary

Family gathering
Hello! I'm from Southern California and I love learning about all that Utah has to offer, including a strong focus on the importance of the family. I love making connections with people and when I learned that Help Me Grow is all about helping families, I immediately became an advocate for this program! If you ever meet me, I will likely try to figure out some common connection between us.

Here are three things to learn about me:

Family - My family is my number one! I love being with them. I love that Help Me Grow's values are focused around the family, as the foundation for a successful society. Every family looks different, and each individual within a family has their own strengths and challenges. My extended family is large, and we have a lot of different challenges. My mom is number seven of eleven children, the first five included two sets of twins (all under three years apart), so family has always been a big part of my life. However loud and crazy it gets, I love spending time with them!

Race Day
Running - If you're around me long enough, you'll find out that I'm almost always signed up for a race. I first was intrigued with this crazy idea as I watched my dad finish his first marathon. I committed myself to take on the challenge of running a marathon with him and after pounding lots of pavement, I finally accomplished my goal! That's when I was hooked and I knew I could do it again. The second time around, I convinced my dad and two other friends to run with me. Now I no longer ask myself if I'll do another one, but rather when is my next race? I continue to discover many life lessons while out pounding pavement, including the Strengthening Families Protective Factors: support in times of need for encouragement, social connections with others who are just as crazy as I am, resilience to just keep moving forward. I could go on and on!

Family History Photo
Family History - One of my very first memories of working here was when my coworker Robin asked my where my ancestors were from - her mother's maiden name is the same as my last name. That set me on a path to discover that both of our families are from Germany, although from different parts. One of my favorite things about Help Me Grow is connecting families to resources in their community that they didn't know existed. I finally made my own connection that many generations of people went through so many sacrifices in order for me to be where I am today. I love learning about my ancestors who immigrated to America, and settled in different parts of the country. I love stories of my family members, and learning of their resilience to persevere through trials. I feel an obligation to give back wherever I can, so that generations may continue to flourish.

The early years are the building blocks for a successful life, and each individual gets to determine what that success is. My life motto right now is from the wise Dory from Finding Nemo: "Just keep swimming" because you never know what you will discover!

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