We had the good fortune of connecting with Priscilla Behnke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Priscilla, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
We are constantly focusing on the mission of Be Awesome, “To make a positive impact in the world by developing confident, connected, and successful youth through mentoring, education, and community programs.” We go over the mission at the beginning of every meeting we decline to participate in anything that doesn’t help us reach our mission. We also stay on brand visually. Inventory and decor is on brand with color as much as possible (teal, white, silver) and we take pride in displaying our brand and want to make it inviting to community members and
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Be Awesome is a small local non profit located in the City of Maricopa dedicated to developing confident, connected, and successful youth through mentoring, education, and community events. We currently offer one on one mentoring for tweens and teens who benefit from a positive role model to help them with school success. We typically work with students in local schools but have calibrated during the Covid 19 closures to work with kids in a virtual format. We are most proud of our mentoring program. While all of our programs are awesome this one appears to have one of the greatest impacts on an individual levels and the relationships the mentors and mentees have developed are life changing. Last year 127 students participated in the program and we saw 50% of our mentees increased their GPA by 10%. We have other programs including family events designed to bring families in our community closer together and closer to their community. These events put a special emphasis on ensuring they accommodate families with special needs children so they can be included and connected as well. We believe that simple can be profound and the simple act of showing up consistently for a child can make a huge impact. By offering a fun evening where families can “break bread” with each other can develop a strong sense of community and belonging. We were able to build a program that serves around 120 mentees each year by doing what we could the best we could. We started with 4 kids 5 years ago and grew from there. It wasn’t always easy but we did know our mission and served the community with a positive and determined attitude. We constantly learned how to improve and never walked away from a mistake with out learning a lesson learned. We’ve learned that good ideas need good people to implement them and at Be Awesome we know that to change the world we need to change the hearts and minds of people one at time so that they can reach their potential and purpose.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We live in the City of Maricopa but we would definitely take them to Ultra Star Multitainment Center on the first night for a nice dinner and entertainment. Oak and Fork is really good. We would also take them to Roots Eatery for nice. We would definitely take them to a day at Butterfly Wonderland. If the weather is good, a visit to Tortilla Flats is always a fun day trip.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Corrine Carr from Reptile Retreats and Creative Creations has been a huge supporter of ours. She has made sure our events look awesome, our tabling events are stand out, and that the kids and families we serve have had positive activities and interactions in a safe virtual setting with her interactive safe reptile shows. Vice Mayor Nancy Smith has served as strong advocate and assisted us if generating revenue to help us adapt and survive during the Covid 19 closures. Ultra Star a local Multitainment Center has worked with us to provide facility space and activities for kids and families. They have offered bowling and arcade play for kids while parents took workshops on internet safety, drug free kids, and other important topics. They also work with us to provide space for proper social distancing for meetings between mentors and mentees and micro groups to help with staying connected during covid and receiving assistance with distance learning.