Say “Hello!” to the newest member of our staff, Amanda Wojcinski! Well, she’s not exactly new. If you’re a little confused, it’s because you have actually met Amanda before. She became part of the Blood:Water family as an intern before accepting a full-time position as our systems assistant in May. We just can’t get rid of her, not that we want to anyway!
Our office wouldn’t be the same without her “freakishly” constant smile, as she calls it, and friendliness – a quality she picked up from her home in the City of Good Neighbors. Amanda is a Buffalonian, not to be confused with Canadian, which is something you will learn quickly after meeting her, as she loves to talk about her hometown. She loves everything about Buffalo, but especially her family who lives there, which she describes by saying, “if you think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding but with Italians on one side and Polish on the other, that is my family and it is incredible!”
The only thing that was able to pull her away from her hometown was her passion for the development of communities in need, which is why she attended Vanderbilt University to pursue a graduate degree in International Education Policy after completing her undergraduate degree in International Development at Houghton College. Lucky for us, Amanda decided to apply to be the engagement intern at Blood:Water because she recognized the importance of Blood:Water’s development model, wherein our African partners are dignified and strengthened as we come alongside them to end the HIV/AIDS and water crises in their communities.
Not only is Amanda passionate and friendly, but if you ever need to reach something on the top shelf, she can be very helpful. I’m sure you’re picturing her as tall as a professional basketball player, but don’t be fooled, she’s only 5’ 3½”… with a 5’ 7” wingspan! Those “excessively long arms” prove useful for reaching tall heights and giving good hugs, especially to giraffes. Despite looking terrified of the creature in this picture, Amanda loves giraffes. However, realizing that giraffes aren’t the most practical pets, she says she would most like to have a finger monkey because “they’re cute and I could stick one in my pocket.”
Even though she would describe herself as the color periwinkle, mostly because it’s a fun word, she makes the office anything but blue! Her favorite thing about working at Blood:Water is the community here and the fact that we’re here for a bigger purpose than simply having a job. Amanda explains, “We’re all here for doing good work that matters, and that’s an intentional part of the office and the community we’ve created.” We can’t wait to see the many ways that she will continue to contribute to Blood:Water’s good work, as she has already done many times since she began her journey with us last year!