Meet our Specialist of the Month winner for January, Trena Williams-Winston, an Out-of-School Specialist, from West Michigan Works! Muskegon County. Trena has been a JMG Specialist for three years and has made a difference in the lives of the youth she serves. We asked several questions so you can get to know her better:
Why did you become a JMG Specialist?
I became a JMG Specialist because I have always had a passion for youth. When I learned about the JMG program it sounded like the perfect fit for me.
What inspires you about your job?
What inspires me about my job is the youth and community progression. Youth is our tomorrow. Investing in them is the best thing to do for our community.
Recall a favorite memory about being a specialist. (an event, a youth accomplishment, etc.)
One of my favorite memories was going to Leadership Day for the first time at Fort Custard. Watching the youth work together as a team, helping each other up, and celebrating when they finished an obstacle together. It was a cool thing to experience.
What is one of the greatest challenges you face in your job?
One of the greatest challenges that I face in my job is getting youth to recognize that they are so much more than any diagnosis, circumstance, or challenge that they face. Those things may impact them, but it does not define who they are. They are so much more.
What is one of the greatest highlights/joys of your job?
The joys of my job is getting to know the youth, laughing with them, and celebrating every accomplishment. Any progress is worth being celebrated.
Why do you think JMG is so important for youth?
JMG is important for youth because it gives them opportunity. It gives them a safe space to learn, grow, and have control over their future. It gives them the opportunity to try new things and step out of their comfort zone.
Share your hobbies, do you have any pets, what do you like to do in your spare time, etc. A couple random facts to get to know you better.
I have two children ages 16 and 14. We have a 10-month-old puppy named Luna. In my spare time I spend it with my family, watching movies, going to concerts, sporting events, and joking around with my family and friends. I enjoy trying new things and exploring different cities. A couple random facts are that I am an impractical joker and I love live comedy.
Fun fact: A fun fact is that I love Cherry Coke and 90’s/early 2000’s R&B!
Nominations are open to ALL, including our employer partners! If you know a phenomenal specialist, we encourage you to nominate them as our February Specialist of the month.
Nominate a specialist who deserves to be recognized, here.