Spotlight on Ana Rodriguez
Having provided both direct services to children as an academic tutor and logistical services to families as a case manager at Integral Care, Ana Rodriguez brings valuable experience to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas in her dual role as a Customer Relations and Match Support Specialist.
As part of the Customer Relations team, Ana evaluates the references provided by volunteers applying to become Bigs and assists with volunteer training — two essential logistical steps in creating effective match relationships.
As a Match Support Specialist, she facilitates communication and addresses the specific needs of matches and interacts directly with Bigs, Littles and families at special events like Youth Activity Center nights, Sister to Sister outings and the annual Match Holiday Party.
“Everything connects,” she says. “I get to help coordinate services that benefit kids as well as work and interact with them face to face.”
Attending these special events for matches is one of the best parts of her job, says Ana.
“I love seeing that special dynamic between the Little and the Big,” she says. “It’s great to see them having fun together.”
She has also enjoyed coordinating the monthly Sister to Sister (S2S) events which bring together Big Sisters and Little Sisters ages 12 and older for recreational activities that focus on making healthy choices, building positive relationships and exploring educational and career opportunities.
Some of the S2S events Ana helped organize included a Confidence Building Workshop, a behind-the-scenes tour of Casey’s Snowballs, and a Self-Care Spa & Movie Night. She also recruited her musically inclined husband to lead an Introduction to Ukulele workshop!
Her work can be challenging as well. She finds it difficult to see Littles struggling, not only with the typical challenges of growing up, but also with other forms of adversity or hardships they might experience in their day-to-day lives. Bigs who are struggling to maintain communication and make a meaningful connection with their Littles often need her help too.
“I try to let them all know that I will be there for them,” she says. “They can call me any time.”
The collaboration, encouragement and friendship she enjoys with her BBBS co-workers and supervisors helps her rise to these challenges, says Ana. And when she’s not in the office, she relaxes and recharges by spending time in the outdoors with her husband and their two dogs, walking trails and visiting dog parks.
In her dual role as Customer Relations and Match Support Specialist, Ana’s work is central to creating and maintaining successful mentoring matches here at BBBS. We’re so fortunate to have her as part of the team, sharing her experience and empathy in support of our mission to ignite the power and promise of youth.