By Sarah Annecone
When Stefanie came to Boulder County AIDS Project (BCAP) in October 2015, she was looking for a way to contribute her skills toward reducing inequality. Passionate about increasing people’s access to services and health care, she sought a way to use her programming skills but also needed the volunteer work to be very flexible. She was already balancing full-time work as a programmer with the many indoor and outdoor activities she enjoys with her husband and 10-year old son. She asked David Gallegos, her good friend and BCAP’s Business Manager, if BCAP could use her help. Stefanie said she appreciates that David and BCAP’s Executive Director Ana Hopperstad took some time to consider how to make the most of her offer and also work with her availability.
Stefanie joined BCAP’s Programs Committee, which meets monthly to focus on improving and enhancing BCAP services. As a professional programmer, Stefanie also fills a unique pro bono position using her skills to BCAP’s benefit. She has analyzed BCAP’s Speakers Bureau presentation evaluations from both school districts that BCAP serves: Boulder Valley and St Vrain Valley. More recently, she attends meetings with BCAP staff and consultants to create a new database for care services’ data storage. She acts as an interpreter, “translating” or explaining the technical information from the company to BCAP staff, while in turn assisting the developers of the new database to better understand what BCAP needs the database to be able to do. Soon Stefanie will be volunteering her time to migrate the data from the old database to the new one. During the process, she will ensure that no data is lost or changed, maintaining the data’s integrity while simultaneously protecting it.
BCAP’s Executive Director is grateful for the specialized skill and knowledge Stefanie brings to BCAP’s HIV Care and Prevention programs. “Stefanie’s perspective has helped staff make more informed decisions around evaluation, database design and using best practices for data collection. We are thankful for her help!”
Stefanie and her family love to spend time together cooking, camping, mountain biking and playing board games. Her son has joined her to volunteer for BCAP’s Holiday Gift Wrap at Barnes and Noble, and they have recently spent a morning weeding the garden beds at BCAP’s Eaton House.
Stefanie most enjoys knowing that she is doing something helpful. “BCAP really meets volunteers where they are at. I feel very accepted despite my schedule, changing availability, etc.” Stefanie enjoys the people she’s met through BCAP and encourages new volunteers to get to know others involved by attending events and participating in the trainings and workshops that BCAP offers. Last year she attended a 2-hour workshop on Gender, Sex and Sexuality that she highly praised. “I’ve learned a lot about different identities and about looking at everyone’s uniqueness. It has helped me move away from pre-defined classifications of people.”
We feel very fortunate and grateful to Stefanie for the vital and valuable work she does at BCAP. Her efforts have supported BCAP agency-wide. Thank you Stefanie, and a big thank you to your son too!