Advocate Spotlight: Brianne

We got a chance to talk to one of the latest members of the CEF family, Brianne Marino. Bri is a newly trained Advocate that has begun diving into all things CEF related!

When did you get involved?  How did you get involved?

I got involved in the beginning of this year. I heard about it through Grace Harvey who’s working with CEF right now and how it’s one of the best things that she’s gotten involved with so far. I heard about it at the Campus Y Open House and decided to try it out!

What made you want to actually get involved in the first place?

I was working with another student group last year that was helping out with people who already had jobs that were having a hard time with that and I was enjoying my work with that group. So I thought that CEF was like that except approaching from different stages, further back or different areas that people needed help and it interested me.

What’s the most important lesson you think you’ve learned from working with CEF?

People who come here seem so kind and so willing to work with someone who doesn’t have any experience. And I know I don’t have any experience, so it’s just great that everyone we work with are so patient and that everyone around is willing to help you help them sort things out.

What skills do you think you’ve developed by working with CEF?

I’ve been doing some research on my own and I’ve been doing the financial teaching fellows thing with Maggie and with that, I’ve learned a ton. I’m learning how to build good budgets and how to save– I haven’t had much experience. I’m learning things with like direct deposits and other really cool things. I’d say I’ve learned a lot myself and happy that I can help other people with that knowledge.

Is there a skill or knowledge of a concept that you want to develop through CEF that you haven’t already?

I would say a lot of the financial stuff- navigate the building system, developing a budget system myself, and good credit and things like that. I just want to use that to help other people at CEF. I just want to feel like I know what I’m talking about so I can help people more confidently.

Are there any future aspirations that CEF could help you achieve?

I’m actually thinking about possibly going to get my Masters in Public Administration or Law School or something like that. But I’ve always been interested in interacting with people or the human side of thing sso I might be interested in working with an organization like CEF in the future… good practice for that

If you ran CEF and could change one thing, what would it be?

I think it would be cool to have Members to come to the general body meetings. I know it’s difficult and it might not be as effective, but it would be pretty cool.

What’s the funniest, craziest thing that’s ever happened to you in the office?

When Amanda telling me I was in the cool club because I could name the Bruno Mars songs that she wanted me to. And I just like the fact that I feel like I’m sort of gaining people’s trust as I’m coming in more. It’s crazy and funny at the same time.

What’s your favorite memory in CEF thus far?

So far I’m actually really excited because I think I’m going to start working with Norman today, but I haven’t been able to do anything with that yet. I was working for a few weeks with a woman who hasn’t come back in since then. She was sort-of having a bit of a hard time with a whole bunch of random things. So she was pregnant and was asking for advice and help on how to take care of her baby for the holidays, which was when the baby was due, and she asking about finding housing and a job. She was just such a sweet person and actually the same age as me, which was shocking at the same time. I’m hoping the reason she hasn’t come back is because everything is okay. She was just so kind to me even though I didn’t even know what I was doing. It was just nice. I liked working with her for the bit of time that I did. And I’m sure it will be the same with Norman.

What’s your least favorite moment in CEF?

I guess the feeling that I don’t know what I’m doing. But like I said, with the classes and everything, it’s getting better. The feeling came more at the beginning of my time here.

I heard that you wanted to become more active in the Latino sector of CEF. What brought that about?

I started thinking of at the beginning of the year. I just wasn’t sure what the time commitment was and I didn’t feel like I was adequately prepared for that. I love Spanish and one of my majors is Spanish. I was also really nervous because I’m good at Spanish but my speaking isn’t all that great. But I realized that there’s enough in the team or the group and not everyone is fluent and so it’s okay and I’ll probably be able to improve, hopefully. I’m interested in Spanish culture and the way it is, and I’m even thinking about immigration law in the past like going to law school for it. So working with this part of CEF seems like it’ll really help me out.

Is there something that CEF doesn’t offer/ isn’t well versed in that you think we should develop?

Nothing I’ve really noticed—it seems to me really, really well organized. I’ve been amazed at how much has been thought out and how everything seems to work so well. So I would say no for right now.


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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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