Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County gets new director

Jennifer Paddock had dedicated her career to helping children, which made her position at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County a logical next step.

“The mission statement is something I found very meaningful and am committed to,” Paddock said.

She became the new executive director of the nonprofit organization in mid-June after managing the state children’s administration office in Island County for about two years.

She holds a master’s in addiction counseling with a focus on youth and families, a master’s in applied behavioral science and bachelor degrees in business management and sociology. With her background, she particularly supports the organization’s mission to “provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-on-one relationships that change their lives for the better”

“The research shows that having one consistent, unconditionally accepting adult in their lives produces such life changing results,” she said.

Her goal is to increase the nonprofit’s “footprint in the community” through more public outreach and fundraising that would hopefully result in more matches being made. Both through her observations and the data collected by Big Brothers Big Sisters, she said she’s seen how having a positive adult role model in children’s lives can improve school performance, increase resiliency, help them avoid risky behaviors and, overall, become positive “contributing members in society.”

She wants to focus on the Bigs with Badges program in particular, which matches children with members of law enforcement; there are currently nine of these matches in the county. She also hopes to increase public knowledge about what the organization does.

“I’m really looking forward to working in this community,” she said, “and possibly serving a larger area at some point.”

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