CalSAC is proud to highlight Jamie Marcil and Tighist Bihon from CalSAC's 2018 Leadership Development Institute 360°/365 fellowship. Jamie and Tighist are leaders who have demonstrated unrivaled commitment to the field and drive for advanced leadership in the out-of-school time and early learning field.
Jamie Marcil was born in San Jose and raised in Reno, Nevada. After graduating high school in Reno, she would eventually find her way back to the Bay Area. Through Jamie’s higher education journey, she discovered her true passion for helping others. To Jamie, it soon became imperative that she pick a career path and life style in creating change in her community.
While at SJSU, Jamie volunteered for CommUniverCity to build a Community Garden for local students to learn about the importance of nutrition and sustainable agriculture. Jamie also became a Mentor with Fresh Lifelines for Youth, a non-profit that provides one-on-one mentoring for youth on probation to support their transition and future success. During her Junior year of college, Jamie entered the Youth Intervention field after being an afterschool leader for 6 years. Jamie’s passion for making a difference in youth lives lead to her providing life skills empowerment programs to young women in locked down facilities. After experiencing training and leadership building with the Girl Scouts Got Choices program, Jamie began to advance professionally within her career. Jamie would take on her next role with Catholic Charities to provide case management for in-risk youth on gang probation. Throughout her experience working with Youth Intervention Jamie grew as a leader, strengthened her cultural awareness, and grew deeper empathy for others.
With a desire to grow into a leadership role and youth program developer, Jamie pursued an opportunity with the City of San Jose. That opportunity allowed Jamie to empower at-risk youth, present at the Justice-involved Females Conference, and facilitate ongoing life skills classes with the Mayors Gang Prevention Task Force. Jamie’s interpersonal skills and social awareness allowed her to thrive within her position and develop new curriculum for the program. After two years with CSJ Jamie applied for a promotional opportunity and successfully obtained a specialist position with the City Wide Out of School time office. This dynamic role allows Jamie to provide quality programming to youth living in different communities around San Jose. Much of Jamie’s career has been focused on improving, supporting, and healing youth that have been involved in the justice system. Jamie has a passion for helping youth find their strengths and create positive change. As part of this process Jamie is currently working with another LDI fellow to start the first annual Teen Summer Yosemite family camp trip.
This summer will allow Jamie to utilize her newly attained leadership skills to train and support new coming staff. Jamie truly believes in training opportunities that are essential to growth, professional development, and building motivation for future leaders. Few people get to say that they love what they do or that they found a passion that helps pay the bills, but Jamie acknowledges every day that she has found her spark with building up community. Jamie hopes to continue building her experience within the city of San Jose and create a legacy in developing new programs.
Tighist Bihon has been working for Girls Inc. of Alameda County since 2014, where she is currently a Program Coordinator. Girls Inc. is a nonprofit organization that encourages all girls to be "Strong, Smart, and Bold" by helping them master foundational academic skill, practice healthy behaviors and build positive relationships with peers and adults. Prior to working at Girls Inc., Tighist Bihon worked in the day school and afterschool field for 12 years with K-5 students in different capacities.
Tighist Bihon was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She moved to the United States when she was 15 and graduated from Hillsdale High School in San Mateo where she discovered the need for an ELL (English Language Learners) program. Soon after moving to the East Bay, she received her Bachelors of Social Work from the University of California State, East Bay and fell in love with the community. Soon after that Tighist start working at Acorn Woodland Elementary as a Reading Interventionist, where she helped English Language Learners by providing intensive small group intervention.
Tighist is currently working for Girls Inc. of Alameda County as a Program Coordinator at Acorn Woodland Elementary, where she continues to support youth and families by providing a strong Literacy program and inspiring youth to be Strong: Through mental and physical health, Smart: Through academic engagement and Bold: Through leadership development. She is also passionate about building a strong sense of community in her program by making an impact on the lives of youth she serves and providing a safe place for youth to come for support.
Tighist has continued her leadership journey in 2018 with her acceptance to CalSAC’s Leadership Development Institute, which has helped her develop as a leader. She looks forward to new possibilities where she can continue to learn, grow and serve youth and their families.