Cecilia Petit, originally from Washington but most recently living in Boston for school, found MIWRC because of the agency's national reputation as one of the only urban organizations working to specifically serve American Indian women impacted by domestic and sexual violence. She started her position as a Sexual Assault Advocate in June, and has recently taken over coordination of MIWRC's Two-Spirit Program, a two-year-old program that creates a safe space to address external factors that lead to marginalization of Two Spirit and Native LGBTQ individuals and encourages a reconnection to cultural teachings.
Relocating has been the biggest challenge of her first couple of months, as she'd never even been to Minnesota before starting work here. Cecilia's working on building a new community here in the Twin Cities and learning to navigate logistical challenges such as knowing what local resources are available to direct people towards. Throughout the settling in process, however, she's been grateful for the support of her coworkers. She says that "people have been super, super welcoming and helpful," since day one.
Cecilia is also enjoying the opportunity to work with some good people doing amazing work. She is looking forward to being mentored by other MIWRC advocates and growing in her own ability to help clients. She just took over the coordination of MIWRC's Two-Spirit Program in September. There is a core group of people involved with the program who are hoping to start doing more outreach and cultural education beyond just the group setting-this internal motivation to create a more intentional community is impressive to Cecilia, who is really happy to be a part of it.
Cecilia sees the friendly workplace community here at MIWRC as a big benefit of the job. She says, "There is a lot of opportunity for growth in the organization. Ideas aren't just tabled but are actively worked on." She has also been surprised by how supportive clients are of each other-that they are coming to MIWRC not just to get services for themselves, but to help each other.
Overall, her first few months have been very positive. When asked what her favorite thing about working at MIWRC is, she said, "I love everybody here! Staff of course, but also our clients-just great people everywhere!"