Staff Spotlight with Jenelle Williams, Program Manager of Learning and Practice
As a Program Manager of Learning & Practice, Jenelle Williams works with a team to create and deliver resources and learning experiences to the CIS Network. Some of the projects she has hosted this year include “Race Equity Dialogues” and “Act Justly: Creating LGBTQ Inclusive Spaces”.
Q: How did you find your way to CIS?
Jenelle: I found my way to CIS by following my older sibling and cousins. I joined young and simply wanted to tag along for the summer program that were offered locally. In Jr. High I joined as well, the intrigue there was that I knew CIS took the students on interesting field trips (summer camp, weekend kayaking trips, professional sports games, etc.).
As a college student, when I finally narrowed down what I believed to be my career focus, I knew it was social work. After making that decision, there was no other place I would have preferred to complete my field placement (internship) than with Communities In Schools. My field placement was fabulous! I got to work at the Jr. High I had previously attended and spend time with my site coordinator who had continued to work with my local CIS. After that experience, I was hooked and knew for sure that I wanted to work for Communities In Schools. I began my employment with an affiliate in August of 2015 and the rest is history.
Q: What is your favorite CIS memory?
Jenelle: My favorite memories are all the camping trips I attended, both summer weeklong trips and quick weekend trips. It opened my mind to new adventures as well as exposed me to new opportunities that were not common in my family life.
Q: What do you do when you are not working?
Jenelle: I enjoy spending time with my family. I have two sons and a husband who keep me “cool”. My husband and I also enjoy going to the movies to see the latest Marvel Movie.
Q: What are some of the challenges you face as a Program Manager and how do you overcome them?
Jenelle: Honestly, I don’t run into challenges. I learn new things daily, but I do not see them as challenges. I truly enjoy creating learning opportunities for the CIS Network that I know students will benefit from indirectly. I have worked at several levels of employment: Site Coordinator, Lead Site Coordinator, Director of Program Operations, and now Program Manager. I absolutely love my current position; I get to use my experience from being a Site Coordinator and share and craft tailored learning experiences for the Network.
Q: As a CIS Alumna, what advice do you have for this year’s graduating seniors as they navigate their futures?
Jenelle: “Protect your peace” the world can be a loud, busy, and pushy place. Take up space and be loud; what you have to say is valuable and could change the world!