BBBSWNC continues to expand into new mountain counties, bringing on new people.
Amanda Wrublewski joins the central office in Asheville as Program Director. Amanda has dedicated her career to advocating for and supporting vulnerable populations. She discovered her passion for youth empowerment while living overseas in Zambia, and most recently worked to support incarcerated women by connecting them to community programs and resources.
Blaine Weiss joined the BBBS team as a Program Coordinator for Buncombe County. Native to Seattle, she is a fan of gray skies, playing Ultimate Frisbee and golf, writing, theater, and drinking coffee. She came to the Southeast to instruct wilderness expeditions for the North Carolina Outward Bound School with the Family in Needs of Services programming in Florida, which serves youth exhibiting “at-risk” behaviors with life-altering 20- to 28-day flat water canoe courses. Blaine fell in love with the work, and for three years she served as an instructor, teaching young people life skills in the woods and helping them transfer the skills they learned to their lives at home and school.
Stephen C. Hunter is Programs Coordinator for Jackson County. Born and raised in Anderson, S.C., he moved to Cullowhee about four years ago to attend Western Carolina University, where he is now a senior working on a bachelor of science degree in history. After graduating, he hopes to attend graduate school to obtain a master’s degree in higher education for student affairs. “I am excited to work with Big Brother Big Sister of WNC,” he says, “because I wanted to work somewhere that not only betters me in my professional career but was also working to improve the lives of the youth in our communities.”
Shelby Hyatt is the new Program Coordinator for BBBS Swain. Born and raised in Swain County, she recently graduated from Western Carolina University with a degree in nutrition and dietetics. “Growing up in the mountains has taught me to take advantage of everything it has to offer, from hiking to paddle boarding and everything in between,” Shelby says. “I am excited for this new opportunity and for getting to work in the community of Swain County.”
Chloe Jackson-Pierce is the new Program Coordinator for BBBS in Clay County. She has a background in farming, teaching, and outdoor education. Originally from the Midwest, she is excited to be making a home in the mountains with her partner and their dog and ducklings.
“I’m excited to work with BBBS because I believe in the importance of intergenerational relationships and the positive impact they can have in peoples’ lives,” she said.
Jennifer Griffin is BBBS Buncombe’s new Enrollment and Matching Specialist. She moved to Asheville in 2000 after graduating from Appalachian State University with a Master of Arts degree in Psychology. She served for 20 years as a district-level school psychologist for Asheville City Schools. In 2005, Jennifer was matched with her Little Sister Jamie, and they continue to be an important part of each other’s lives.
Jennifer lives near downtown Asheville with her husband and 11-year-old daughter. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, camping and listening to live music. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with BBBS,” she said. “I loved being a Big Sister, and I love serving the children in this community. I have repeatedly seen firsthand the impact that mentors make in children’s lives.”
Nancy Christy, in the central office, is our Donor Relations Coordinator. “I am looking forward to being a part of the BBBSWNC team and bringing the donor relations experience I’ve gained working for non-profits,” she said. “I truly appreciate the opportunity!”
Recruitment and Development Specialist Dorian Palmer has been all over Western North Carolina lately recruiting Bigs and Littles as we expand and reach out to more children in the mountain counties. A former Little himself, he knows how valuable BBBS is.
Welcome to Lisa Brown, who has joined the staff team in Buncombe County! She will be a Match Support Specialist working with Bigs, Littles, and families in the Community-Based Program. She has experience as a school social worker, after-school program director with Communities in Schools, and academic interventionist in Henderson County.
Nicole Barnes is also a Match Support Coordinator for community-based matches in Buncombe County. She also works at Warren Wilson College. Nicole attended UNCA for sociology and then UNC Wilmington for a Master’s in Conflict Management and Resolution.