We are excited to share that Kenné Johnson has joined our BCM team as Communications Associate! With that comes the bittersweet news that God has provided new opportunities for Dyimah, who will be transitioning off BCM staff this month. We wish Dyimah the best in this next season and look forward to serving alongside Kenne. Please read on to hear from both Kenné and Dyimah.
Hello from Kenné
Hello! My name is Kenné Johnson and I’m a recent graduate from San Jose State University, where I studied graphic design. I am a first-generation college graduate and grew up in a community in Southern California that is very similar to East Palo Alto. During high school, I worked with my mother for her non-profit that feeds the homeless and supports teenage girls. I am excited to start my new role as Communications Associate for BCM. The mission of this organization has definitely hit home and I cannot wait to see how God works to utilize my skills to help build up the EPA community here at BCM.
Farewell from Dyimah
I remember my first interview with BCM staff as being warm and comfortable; I felt at ease, at home. In the interviews that followed I learned that Amy, BCM’s Director of Partner Development is my Aunt’s neighbor; what a coincidence! I prayed for an opportunity at BCM so when I received an offer letter I excitedly and gratefully accepted and came on part time as a Development Associate. I learned a few months later that a few of my cousins had also been BCM participants when there were younger; I even found a picture of one of my cousins when I was sorting through BCM’s archived photos. In all of these coincidences I saw God, telling me that this was where I needed to be.
At BCM I was exposed to the many different sides of a nonprofit but also learned a lot about myself. Our weekly prayer meetings showed me (a person who thought she preferred studying Gods word alone) the importance of fellowship with others and re-motivated me to find my current church home. I was exposed to the marketing side through creating online campaigns; communication aspects through running our Instagram and writing our bi-weekly blogs; I learned about corporate funding through working closely with our grant writer and being tasked with writing a proposal and event planning through joining BCM’s banquet team and helping plan our 2018 banquet. I am so grateful for being invited to take part in the many different roles necessary to maintain the services BCM provides the community.
Over the past year I’ve been pondering my career goals. I was confused about whether I wanted to get my MBA or go to law school and decided to do some research by first reaching out to people who were either 1) in law school 2) worked under a lawyer or 3) are a lawyer. The advice that I kept receiving was that I should first work under a lawyer before I decide to invest in law school. This threw a monkey wrench in my plans; I had intended to stay with BCM for at the least another full year to ponder and eventually make a decision about my career, but the advice I was getting revealed that I needed additional work experience. I love BCM, my job, my co-workers and our mission; I didn’t want to leave, but the more I prayed the more I felt like I was being called into something new. I remember praying one specific prayer, telling God that if he wanted me to leave BCM he would have to put an opportunity in my lap because I refused to fill out any applications or actively start looking for a job. Then one day (as a part of my research) I met with a lawyer whose office was five minutes away from my home. Our meeting was accidently scheduled during a time when he was supposed to be attending a cultural festival (Hmong New Year), so instead he invited me to accompany him to the festival! We enjoyed the festival and talked for about three hours about work, life, culture and lots more. I asked if he advised me to work under a lawyer before thinking about law school to which he answered yes as he informed me that his office had an open Legal Assistant position and asked if I was interested. I would not have to fill out any applications, just send references and have a formal interview with his office manager. I was hired soon there-after.
I will never be able to fully communicate my appreciation for how BCM helped me grow. The amazing people at BCM have been mentors, listeners, friends and family in Christ. They say lightening doesn’t strike the same place twice but if I’m lucky, one day I will have another opportunity to be a part of a team like this one.