Orange County, CA, USA
National Mentoring Month
Five years ago, Quality Manager Nate Soto started out as an event volunteer for BTE, helping out with student activities. Over time he assumed roles including guest speaker and event planner and eventually became a BTE Champion. He explained that the “stairs kept leading me up within the program.” What he enjoys most about his work with BTE is seeing the excitement of the BTE students and their engagement with volunteers and classmates. “Being able to witness that firsthand and see the impact is what it’s all about for me…walking away from every event seeing their smiles, the effort they put in while there, and that they really are enjoying it.” He emphasized that through seeing the students’ enjoyment, you can understand the impact you’re making…which “makes you want to become involved even more.”
“Being able to witness [the students’ excitement] firsthand and see the impact is what it’s all about for me.”
Volunteering for BTE has enabled Nate to gain a better perspective of his community. He commented, “I understand where I live way better now.” He sees BTE as a “gleaming example of living the J&J Credo” because community engagement happens at all levels—from helping students to getting to know parents, to working with school districts and community partners. Professionally, the volunteering experience has been a “great way to network” and get to know people at J&J he wouldn’t know otherwise. These connections have enhanced Nate’s understanding about J&J as a business and the various roles within the company. Through presenting to and working with senior leaders for BTE, he has deepened his public speaking skills as well.
The advice he would give to someone considering becoming a BTE volunteer is “Do it. Jump right in.” He says to “just give a couple hours” and promises that after seeing the impact of your work, “I’m sure you’ll want to remain part of it.”
Nate is currently the BTE Champion for the BTE Orange County, CA site which is in its first year of implementation.