Hannah Somers, CCChampions
Hannah, raised in Pittsburgh, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied Political Science and Scandinavian Studies. After working at an immigration law firm for two years in Chicago, she is thrilled to make her return to Pittsburgh as a member of the CCChampions team! Hannah is motivated by her own inspirational friendships and she is excited to help CCChampions grow and create as many wonderful, uplifting friendships as possible!
1. Tell us about your cool job as the Assistant Director of CCChampions. What are you responsible for at the organization?
As Assistant Director, I am primarily responsible for the day to day operations of CCChampions! I try my best to make sure that CCChampions is running smoothly. This includes matching the new kids in CCChampions with the best possible role models, screening and preparing volunteers to be role models, running payroll, updating our website, sending out newsletters, making scrapbooks for our donors, helping with our fundraisers, and more! Because CCChampions is growing so quickly, new opportunities and challenges are arising all the time, so I work closely with our Executive Director to make sure that we are working as quickly as CCChampions is growing!
2. What do you enjoy most about your current job?
I love watching the work we do make a difference in the lives of our kids and their families. Seeing a friendship blossom between a kid and their role model is a really special thing and I get so much joy from knowing that I helped to make that happen! But day to day, I really enjoy the variety of my job. There’s always something different to do, and I’ve already learned so much since I started with CCChampions in January!
3. When people ask you where you work, how do you describe CCChampions and its mission?
I describe CCChampions as a small nonprofit that helps kids with cancer by asking them what they want to be when they grow up and then finding a role model that does that job to be their friend and offer support throughout the cancer treatment process. We love sharing stories about our kids, and one of my favorites right now is Angelika and her role model, Chef Geoff, Executive Chef for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Chef Geoff and Angelika have cooked together twice now, preparing meals for Angelika’s family and a post game meal for the Pittsburgh Penguins!
4. You’ve worked in higher education administration and as a legal assistant. What is it that pulled you into the nonprofit sector for this position?
When I left my job at the law firm, I was really looking for something that would allow me to directly help others. I knew from my previous work experience that generally, the closer I was to the cause and the more I could see how my work helped others, the happier I was. I thought a lot about getting a Master’s degree in Social Work and, at the same time, I was looking on nonprofit talent for opportunities to gain experience in the field before making that decision. I stumbled upon the job posting for CCChampions and I was immediately drawn in by the mission. The opportunity for growth and learning really sealed the deal and, after working for CCChampions for a few months now, I could not be happier to be a part of the nonprofit sector. It is particularly rewarding to be here in Pittsburgh working with so many other inspiring and thoughtful community leaders. Everyone wants to help make Pittsburgh a better place and we are lucky to be surrounded by so much exceptional talent.
5. What are some of the technology or productivity tools you’re hooked on?
Does google drive count? We use google drive (and google photos, google slides, google spreadsheets… etc.) for everything. We would be totally lost without it. We also just started using Basecamp for project management. So far, so good!
6. What are your future career aspirations?
I hope to help CCChampions through national expansion and ultimately see us have a sustainable chapter at every children’s hospital across the country. After that, I’m not sure yet! But I do know that I want to continue working with selfless, inspiring people to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
7. If you could change one thing about the way the nonprofit sector operates what would that be?
I would like to see more collaboration between small nonprofits. Since starting with CCChampions, our Executive Director, Sidney Kushner, has really helped me realize the importance of working together with other nonprofits, whether that means thinking about how we can help them, or thinking about how they can help us. We are surrounded by so many people with outstanding talent but limited resources, and collaboration, big or small, can make a huge difference for a smaller organization like CCChampions. We are lucky to work out of The Beauty Shoppe, which is an excellent community with opportunity for partnerships.
8. What do you read on a regular basis?
I read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and (I’m going to be outing myself as a real millennial here) Reddit.
9. Tell us something our readers don’t know about you?
When I was younger, I wanted to have three part-time jobs when I grew up – a doctor, a ballerina, and a gas station attendant. While I’m sure they all would’ve been great, I feel so lucky to have the cool job that I have now!
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