This week’s spotlight centers The Village’s very own Patricia Braboy (she/her). Patricia and I are on the small butmighty administration team together, along with our newest team member, Kizzy Grant, and Jessi Dehlin. Patricia is the Project Assistant for CCHE and the Community Engagement Coordinator for CFAR. Patricia runs the front desk often being the first point of contact for anyone receiving services at The Village. Patricia’s commitment to care and contagious kindness has consistently left clients leaving in a better mood. As the “front desk backup,” I will never get tired of slightly-disappointed clients walking in who are excitedly expecting Patricia. “Patricia” has become synonymous with: “support” at The Village.
“A name is very important and we always try to like reach back and bring our life is like a family who has passed on into like regeneration and I do that with my kids.” In addition to everything she does for CCHE, Patricia Vinita Josephine Braboy is also mother to twin 10-year-olds, Patrick Joseph Preston and Andrew Nathaniel Paige, that started school this month. This made me curious: how is she balancing all of this?
Before understanding how long COVIS-19would last, many of us became accustomed to working from home for the summer. I asked Patricia about transitioning back into our incremental reopening: “I like coming into the office, like I have a designated time when I’m like working from home working. I’m going to have my kids at home. I’m helping my grandma and it all kind of melds together and I have a hard time separating it.” A familiar struggle we’re all working through. It’s helpful to remember that we are living in unprecedented times where juggling remote work, remote learning and supporting others from a distance (family, friends and clients), has a new balance that we have to search for and hold onto. With school starting again, Patricia has been able to help her children find their school/home balance by taking them to their grandmother’s house every school day (with remote stations waiting for them). and preparing breakfast for her twins and their grandmother before her own work day begin; Passing on healthy school life boundaries along with the familial name connections.
It’s hard not to overstate how much Patricia does, not only for The Village but in her career as a whole thus far. Patricia has been facilitating sex-positive sexual health classes and workshops since 2015, and she’s currently enrolled in the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certification Program and hopes to pursue a Master’s in Public Health in the Fall. She put it simply “I love sex-ed. I love sexuality education. I love reproductive health month.” I asked her what led her to this path and she talked about how bigger people aren’t sexualized. “…so when I went to college I always felt like oh I’ll never get pregnant. Like I don’t need to know about birth control. Like that’s not going to happen to me because I was a smart girl, you know?” A set of twins later, turns out that wasn’t true; A judgement-free, affirming, sex-ed curriculum provides for anyone with misconceptions. The work Patricia does starts to normalize healthy conversations about sex and sexuality harnessing the belief that an open mind equipped with accurate information will help people make the decisions that are best for them.
We learned how she ended up on the path, but why continue doing the work? “I want and I hope that I can be there for somebody even if I don’t know them.” Patricia has been a face of positivity in every role she occupies. Understanding that our client base is often in the midst of heavy battles, she thoughtfully curates the space to help relieve some of the stress. From the music she plays, to the accoutrements on her desk, she continuously finds ways to support people.
FYI: If you’re looking for affirming sex-education, Patricia runs an Instagram account @SexedwithPB.