Executive Director : Kaitlyn Hoeflein Education: Masters of Organizational Leadership, Regent University , Virginia Beach, VA (2015), Bachelor’s of Psychology, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, NY. Hometown: Towanda, PA What I do: As Executive Director I work with volunteers, families, staff, board members, donors, schools, and other social service providers across our 5 county service area. I support the agency staff, network with the community, promote financial sustainability, collaborate with our Board Members, and supervise matches to ensure that BBBS of the Twin Tiers continues to provide a safe, healthy, and effective mentoring program in each of the communities that we serve. What drew me to BBBS: Prior to joining BBBS, I worked with children and families through various social service programs. After earning my Master’s in business leadership, I had a strong desire to combine my experience in human services with my passion for cultivating organizational growth, health, and viability. I strongly believe in the mission and value of Big Brothers Big Sisters and I couldn’t think of a better place to invest my skills, energy, and time into. Goals for the program: My goal is to effectively steward our relationships, resources, and reputation, as we provide the invaluable service of 1:1 mentoring across the Twin Tiers.
Community Based Case Manager: Jillian Benelli, MSW Education: Master of Social Work-Marywood University, Scranton, PA (2010). Special Certification in Behavioral Health (2010). Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Minor in Philosophy)-Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA (2003). Hometown: Wellsboro, PA. What I Do: As a Community Based Case Manager my role involves assessing and enrolling participants in the BBBS program. I then match adult volunteers (“Bigs”) with children (“Littles”) that share similar interests and would benefit from a mentoring relationship with a positive and supportive adult. I also serve as a resource/support person throughout the duration of each match by maintaining contact with all parties (Big, Little, & Little's family) to ensure open communication. What Drew Me to BBBS: Over the years as a social worker, I have always been drawn to working with children and families. My role within BBBS allows me to utilize both my dedication to assisting families and my desire to respond to the needs of the community. The vision (that all children achieve success in life) and mission of BBBS align with my personal goals and are something of which I am proud to be associated. I am also inspired by and support the paradigm upon which (to me) BBBS was founded: that even just one person can have an immeasurable impact on the life of a child. Goals for the Program: My goal is to continue to make matches between “Bigs” and “Littles” that are rewarding and lasting for both the Little and Big so that as many children as possible are able to avoid engaging in risky behaviors and are set on the path towards success.
School Based Case Manager: Lauren Rought, BS Education: Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Ed. from Palm Beach Atlantic University (2012) Hometown: Royal Palm Beach, FL What I Do: As a School-Based Case Manager, I oversee all of our Big Buddy Program in Bradford and Sullivan Counties, PA. I recruit, train and support high-schoolers in their matches with elementary school students. I organize and facilitate a monthly activity for our Littles in each school that we serve and I maintain monthly contact with all 145 individuals (Bigs and Littles) in our program. What Drew Me to BBBS: I have been involved in the educational system for over 10 years but my biggest passion was building relationships with and among students. BBBS allows me to help facilitate relationships between students that can impact and shape their future which, in turn, can shape our world. Goals for the Program: My hope is that the relationships that are created through our program help children build their confidence and dream big dreams knowing that there are people rooting for them. I would also like to see the School-Based Program expand in to Sayre and Troy school districts in some form or capacity.
Administrative Assistant: Mary - Rose Shaylor, MA Education: Master of Education –Penn State University, State College, PA. Bachelor of Science -Keystone College, La Plume, PA. Home Town: Towanda, PA Work History: 30 years retired from Federal Government (Veterans Administration). Duties included Medical Administration, Federal Woman Program Manager for EEO for Wilkes Barre VA Medical Center. Also involved in the Lead Program, Train the Trainer, AFGE Steward and Mediator. What I Do: As Administrative Assistant my role involves typical office work and assisting the BBBS Director in anyways that help the office run smoothly. My personal involvement with other non-profits in the community helps me to network and promote BBBS. What Drew Me to BBBS: I Have been involved many years with BBBS as a past BBBS Board Member and a “big” to 2 different “littles”. I truly believe BBBS is a wonderful program that works and changes lives of all of those involved.
Community Based Case Manager: Elaine Lovegreen, M.A. Education: Master of Arts, Social Science, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY; Bachelor of Science, Community & Human Services, Empire State College (SUNY), Corning, NY Hometown: Towanda, PA. What I Do: As a Community Based Case Manager my role involves assessing and enrolling participants in the BBBS program. I then match adult volunteers (“Bigs”) with children (“Littles”) that share similar interests and would benefit from a mentoring relationship with a positive and supportive adult. I also serve as a resource/support person throughout the duration of each match by maintaining contact with all parties (Big, Little, & Little's family) to ensure open communication. What Drew Me to BBBS: Throughout her career, Elaine has worked in a variety of educational and social service programs. She has been a counselor, advocate, educator, mentor, case manager, writer, editor, speaker, administrator and supervisor. Although she has worked in different capacities, and for different organizations, her core objectives have always been the same – to help individuals and families achieve better success and balance in life by assisting with issues regarding overall wellness; such as, relationships, abuse, parenting, goal-setting, personal effectiveness, self-esteem, media awareness and more. Elaine’s perspective is a sociological one, focusing on problems stemming from our social, cultural, and environmental context more than on any particular pathology within the family or individual. Her approach is educational, cooperative and supportive. A firm believer in the importance of volunteerism, she has volunteered with many organizations, including the Family & Youth Development Committee of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga Co., New York; the Waverly School District; the Alternatives to Violence Project; the Bradford Co. Child Sexual Abuse Task Force; the Tioga County (NY) Department of Mental Hygiene; Toastmasters Barrier Breakers Club (current), and as a board of trustees member and member of multiple committees for her church, including three years as president. She currently serves as an officer on a statewide trust, which provides grants to member organizations, and has served as president on that organization. Being aware of BBBS for many years, and knowing the value of a quality mentoring program, she was attracted to the idea of working with BBBS locally and she hopes to contribute to the growth and success of BBBS in the Twin Tiers. On a more personal level, Elaine is a life-long resident of the area, having been born and raised in Towanda, Pennsylvania, and moving just across the state line to the Waverly area approximately 30 years ago. She is a wife, the mother of two adult children and two adult stepchildren, and a grandmother of seven. She is also a lover of nature and the outdoors, books, music and people. Some of her leisure interests are reading, writing, music, travel, the outdoors, walking and fitness. She is passionate about all social justice issues, as well as ethical living and supporting families in today’s world.
School-Based Case Manager-Tioga, PA: Brandi Norris Having an eclectic background working in the human service field for over 10 years has taught me the value of community connections. From socializing with my neighbors while I enjoy a stroll with my dogs to mingling with family and friends while debating on what makes a good cup of coffee, would not have developed were it not for the feeling of connection. This connection to others has motivated me to continue supporting our young generations in developing their connections with others. I hope to continue pursuing this sense of community while working with Big Brothers Big Sisters.