By Julia Saemi, Development Director at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County

So how does someone with an economics and budgeting background end up as a Development Director of a small non-profit?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten that question in the two months that I’ve been working at the Children’s Advocacy Center.  It’s a good question.  I worked for the Department of Treasury, I consulted for the Navy, and I worked on the budget team at Dartmouth College – why the CAC?

My answer is timing and the inspiring staff at the Center.

I’ve lived in Medford for just over a year and have a two-year-old son.  I was looking for part-time work that was fulfilling and challenging.  I had thought about working for a non-profit.  I’ve done a lot of volunteering in the past, and always found that work grounding and incredibly meaningful.  But nothing seemed to be working out, so I got in touch with a family friend – Dr. Miller.  Her enthusiasm for the CAC is infectious. She gave me a tour, introduced me to Tammi, the Executive Director, and I was hooked.  I signed up to volunteer that day.

Anyone who has interacted with the center can tell you that it takes no more than 5 minutes with anyone on staff to realize their passion for helping children and families.

It is truly amazing and inspiring.  I’ve never felt so strongly about an organization in such a short period of time.  The Children’s Advocacy Center proves that a small staff can have a significant and positive impact on hundreds of kids a year.  It is this dedication that encouraged me to apply for the open Development Director position as I couldn’t think of a better way to dedicate the time away from my son.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two months on the job and all the challenges that come with starting in a completely new field of work.  There are days that I feel like the path leading to the Children’s Advocacy Center was meant to be.

It brings me back to my days of working on my Master’s Degree in Public Administration and making the decision to dedicate myself to public service.  I go back to how I felt cooking and welcoming guests at David’s House in Hanover, New Hampshire – a small Ronald McDonald-type house for families to stay while their children are in the hospital.  I am grateful to be given the opportunity to be part of the amazing team at the Children’s Advocacy Center.

I will do everything I can to be successful in supporting the Center in helping children recover from child abuse and find safety.