Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: Bill Blasko

Bill Blasko (picture to the left, above, at last week's Martini Madness fundraiser) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but spent the bulk of his adolescence growing up in Saginaw, Michigan, a few hours north of Detroit. He graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1989 with a degree in engineering and later went on to earn a master's degree in Business Administration from DePaul University in 2003.

Bill currently works at UOP, the world's largest provider of process technology and services to the refining and petrochemical industries. He started there in 1995 as a chemical engineer and he is now a manager. About 15% of his job involves traveling around the world to discuss technology with investors and make presentations to customers. He has been to Korea, China, Japan, India, and more. (Believe it or not, one time he was sent to China for just one day!)

Bill lives in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago with his two dogs, a 175-pound English Mastiff (wow!) and a 90-pound English Labrador. He likes to hang out with his friends and watch sports, as he is an avid participant in fantasy football leagues. He has also been known to play guitar and paint, although he admits to being out of practice in both interests. Bill is single at the moment, but, though he's unsure of what the future may hold for him, he does hope to start a family one day.

Bill found out about Cabrini Connections via a simple web search. (If you Google, "mentoring Chicago," we're on the first page.) He wanted to give back to the community and he felt like tutoring and mentoring was a good way to make himself and someone else feel good. So he signed up in August and almost immediately got paired with Darren Forest, a 5th-year veteran in our program. Whether they work solely on Darren's homework or they have time to just talk about life, Bill says that he always walks out of Cabrini Connections feeling good.

Well, we feel good, too, Bill! Thanks for joining our team! We look forward to your presence for a long time to come.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed talking with Bill and his date at last week's Martini Madness. At UOP engineers use autocad, which is an animation and visualization tool, to help people understand complex ideas. I invited both to look at the way we illustrate the strategies of Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection, and to help us convert more of our ideas to animated essays.

    This is a role that volunteers and interns who understand autocad, GIS, animation, etc. could take that would help us connect more kids and volunteers with each other, in structured programs like Cabrini Connections.

    Thanks for joining us Bill.