Meet Meagan, the Komera Development Fellow 2018-2019!
Hello Komera Family!
My name is Meagan Bernatchez, and I am joining the Boston based team as the Development Fellow for the coming year. I received a very warm welcome and immensely look forward to diving into work and meeting many of you along the way!
Why am I working for Komera?
For me the answer to that question is simple: Because I can’t see myself doing anything else.
I believe in the power of women to change the world. I have seen the transformation in communities that invest in young girls, and I am committed to efforts that create more opportunities for women to reach their full potential. I align strongly with Komera’s values of providing holistic support for each scholar and in turn, the whole community. I see Komera’s commitment to putting community voices at the center of their programming as imperative to creating lasting change in Rwanda.
I believe that when humans truly see and connect with one another, there is immense power in each of us to generate positive change. Komera is a leader in sharing resources and endowing their staff and scholars with the tools they need to be activists and agents of change in their community. I am eager to learn from the many inspiring Komera women!
Admittedly, I’m also a bit of a running nerd. Running for me started as a self care act, a time to invest in my well-being and decompress from long days as a social worker. But as I started running longer and longer distances, a funny thing happened; I didn’t just let go, I also started to discover new strength. I gained insight into myself, fostered a sense of safety in my body, and a built a deeper appreciation for how to set and accomplish goals. I also received incredible support from the running community that allowed me to continue to aim higher. There is a meaningful connection runners seem to share that I think readily translates using the sport as a vehicle to support global causes. For these reasons, I look forward to supporting the Komera running teams!
To me, running feels like flying. When we break down barriers and help women access the sport of their choice, we free them from the physical and mental restraints society has placed on them. Komera values sport as a tool for change and utilizes it as a key vehicle to ensure all young women have the confidence to take on big challenges. I am thrilled to be a part of that.
A bit more about my background…
I started my professional life as a Social Worker in the Greater Boston Area, where I facilitated wrap around services for low SES families. My ability to speak Spanish meant I worked with a lot of multicultural families, and I was struck by the deep-rooted, systemic barriers these families faced. I knew my next career move had to be one that worked from a different perspective to support lasting change. This led me to participate in Mama Hope’s Global Advocate Fellowship Program. In this capacity, I partnered with Shanti Uganda, a maternal health facility in the Luwero district of Uganda that delivers a holistic care model to mothers and families in that region. After independently fundraising $25k, I travelled to Uganda and worked as the Program Intern for four months. I had the opportunity to indulge in all the beauty of life in East Africa while supporting the Teen Girls Health Education Workshop and development initiatives in Uganda. My work there furthered my conviction to invest in community voices in order to implement lasting change.
And now I find myself a part of the powerful team at Komera, excited to grow my current skills and learn all I can in the role of Development Fellow for the next year!
My foundation in social work informs how I approach challenging conversations and problem solving. I try to maintain a “meet people where they are at” approach and work tirelessly to be an active listener. Grappling with linguistic nuance and investigating the complexities of cross-cultural work excite me. Most importantly, I love working alongside teams of strong, inspiring women for women!
So with all that, I arrive at Komera and am already hooked after week one! As an advocate for connections, I hope you feel comfortable reaching out to me as a member of this dynamic team. I am eager to get started!
If you have any questions, comments or hellos, please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org!