In the Q&A below, Sylvie Trevena, MBA, Program Assistant and Scheduling Coordinator at Well Being Trust, shares about her role and the women who have influence her personally and professionally.
What inspired you to join Well Being Trust?
I completed my college education as an adult learner and for years I struggled to find a good fit for myself in the non-profit world. My position as a Program Assistant and Scheduling Coordinator was a great way for me to become part of a dynamic team of individuals committed to the advancement of the mental, social, and spiritual health of the nation. I love that my day-to-day work helps support our impact philanthropy, and I know that I am part of the “good fight” in many ways.
What gives you the greatest sense of pride in your work?
The most important work I do is that I keep up connections and dialogues that continue to support our company’s mission. Supporting the team with scheduling and maintaining our vital relationships with our partners, current and future, is something that gives me pride because I know how valuable this is to our work.
Has there been a time when you felt being a woman impacted your career positively or negatively.
I have had mostly positive experiences working in the non-profit world, but must admit there have been times when I have experienced some resistance as a female manager. No matter what industry I was in, I did have people ask me where the “other” manager was when I responded to an issue that called for leadership to step in. The “other” meant the male manager at those times, but overall, I have felt a kindred connection to other female staff and leaders throughout my career. As a working mom I have found a sisterhood of professional female friends and colleagues, and I am grateful for this connection.
What women do you look up to? Who was a female influence in your professional or personal life and why?
In my personal life, Priscilla Blaisdell Blanshard, my maternal grandmother was someone who really stressed the importance of being an educated, independent woman. My grandma was a woman who went and got a degree and had a large professional career in Philadelphia as a librarian while raising three children. I saw her life and saw the potential for that path for myself and it was transformative.
In my professional life, I was mentored by Jackie Sue Griffin, MBS, MS. We collaborated on several evaluation measures and projects dedicated to Florida nonprofit work, and I learned so much from her. She is also a single parent and writer (like me) and is also a nationally recognized grant writer. Her work in non-profit organizations really inspires and informs my work as she is a strong independent successful woman who shares love and generosity each day.
What hopes do you have for the future of mental health and wellness?
I have high hopes for our future concerning mental health. As a person who has had her own personal mental health struggles and diagnoses, I am hoping stigma continues to be broken down concerning mental wellness. Talking and writing about my own life has really helped my ownership of who I am – the good, the bad, and the in between. I think if we can look at an individual’s experience with empathy, then the world can change for the better. All of us are impacted by mental health and we truly need to come together without judgment to impart real change for all people.