Bethany is excited to join the Great Rivers United Way team as the Better Together project coordinator. La Crosse County is one of ten communities funded by the Healthier Wisconsin Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin to improve behavioral health in our community. As coordinator, Bethany will work to collaborate with and engage those working to improve behavioral and mental health, including schools, nonprofit agencies, businesses, faith organization, county government, law enforcement, medical centers, and collaborative groups.
Bethany comes to this area from Green Bay, WI where she worked in nonprofit for over a decade. During her time in Green Bay she worked to address issues around multicultural diversity and inclusion, she was an advocate for women and children of color, and led projects that addressed food insecurity. Bethany is eager to now turn her time and energy to help La Crosse County as it looks to improve the mental health and wellbeing of its youth.
Bethany and her partner, Drew, who is originally from the Driftless region, are looking forward to making La Crosse their home. Inspired by the beauty and geography of the area they are excited for the many future hikes and canoe trips in their future! They are also urban gardeners and expert food growers who love to share their produce.
15 Questions for Bethany
- What are you most excited about in your new position? I’m looking forward to getting to know the people working on youth mental and behavioral health in La Crosse County. There are many who are doing excellent work in this area and it will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the wins along the way with these hard-working individuals. It’s a privilege to be working on such an important topic.
- Favorite color? Is sunset/rise a color? I will set an alarm to remind me to go outside either for the sunrise or set because those colors are just spectacular every time.
- What three adjectives best describe you? Courageous, considerate, and compassionate (also adventurous!)
- Least favorite household chore? Ha! I take an inordinate amount of joy in a clean house. Cleaning is stress relieving to me. That said, folding the laundry is one of my most hated tasks. I’m lucky, however, to have a partner who takes a truly unusual amount of joy in folding the laundry.
- Favorite movie? I’m into documentaries! My most favorite in recent years has been a film called “Throw Down Your Heart.” It’s a story of legendary banjo player Bela Fleck and his journey to take the banjo back to its birth-land of Africa. The musicians he collaborates with are amazing!
- Favorite memory? Two years ago, for my birthday, I had the opportunity to hike into and sleep in the crater of a Hawaiian volcano. It was absolutely memorable and intense.
- Favorite recreational activity(ies)? I love to backpack and be on the water either in a kayak or canoe. I also enjoy growing food. It’s absolutely amazing to plant a seed in the spring and then eat the produce throughout the summer and fall. I’m always awestruck by growing food.
- Genre of music? I went to school for music. This is like asking a chef his favorite dish or a painter their favorite color. I really like music… all music. I’m looking forward to playing music in La Crosse during my free time!
- Most likely to order on a menu? Something spicy!
- Favorite book? A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. I read it and fell in love with environmentalism.
- Role model? Barak (and Michelle) Obama. I was just finding my footing as a young community organizer when he was elected president. I was inspired (and still am) by his ethics and passion for the issues that matter to the common person.
- Favorite place to visit? Pictured Rocks in the UP of Michigan
- Guilty pleasure? Brie cheese… and a glass of wine
- Memorable moment in the new job thus far? I went to a conference in Madison the second day on the job. I took furious notes like a freshman in their first class in college. It was inspiring and eye-opening.
- Favorite thing about our community? The people. I have so enjoyed meeting everyone and getting to know why they love living here.