Intern Program Director at TWLOHA
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Bex. I'm originally from the cornfields outside of Chicago. I love coffee, movies, tattoos, dressing like it's fall in the midwest even though I live in Florida, YouTube, pop punk, sunflowers, podcasts, and the color grey. My heart is shared by a cat named Gwhitey and a boy named Austin.
What do you do?
I'm the Intern Program Director at TWLOHA. Three times a year we have a group interns join our team for three to four months. While they are here I train them, assign them tasks, and make sure they're adjusting to our team. I have also been working on building up our Find Help page, making sure we have resources for cities across the country and globe.
What led you to your current role with TWHLOHA?
I first heard about TWLOHA at a music festival in Illinois when I was in high school. The mission of the organization reminded me of loved ones and my own story. When I was in college I joined the TWLOHA team for a summer internship and a few years later I came back down to lead the program.
Why do you do what you do and what do you love most about what you do?
I do what I do because I believe we all have something to bring to the table. I love getting to see people's strengths and place them in jobs where they can both thrive and be challenged. I love seeing my interns using their talents to further the mission of TWLOHA and connect with our supporters. I also love seeing my intern groups grow together and discover what it looks like to live in community.
Who are some women that inspire you in your life and work?
The woman that inspires me most in my life is my mom. I lovingly call her Judymom. She is strong, loving, and independent. She has always supported my brothers and myself as we have chased our dreams and our passions.
I look up to Sophia Bush as an influencer. She's incredibly talented, but always using her platform to promote love and positive change in the world.
What are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about storytelling, whether that's through written words, television, or movies. I love that stories have a way of connecting people and encouraging us to strive for better.
What's the best advice you've received?
The best advice I ever received was to not let my excuses win. I have some heavy parts of my own story and it could be easy to let those drag me down, but instead, I want to use them to inspire me and others.
Why do you think talking about mental health is important?
It's important to talk about because it affects so many of us, really it affects all of us. The more we talk about it, the more people will feel ready and able to ask for the help they need and deserve.
Are there any specific challenges in your work/life you've faced because you're a woman? If so how did you overcome them?
I remember when I was younger feeling like I was less "girly" because I liked sports and was in accelerated classes and would take charge of situations. Those weren't considered feminine qualities, so I felt like something was wrong with me. Over the years I've surrounded myself with people who have encouraged my passions and personality. I'm just as much of a strong woman on the days I wear a flannel and beanie as I am on the days I wear a dress and lipstick. My best friends, boyfriend, family, and coworkers help remind me of that.
What is your advice for women and girls?
Don't be afraid to be strong. You're allowed to be smart and powerful. You're allowed to support other powerful women. Let's work together, not against each other.