Member of the Month: Emily Hakkinen

Meet a new ACT Member!

Emily was born and raised in Connecticut and moved to the Berkshires 12 years ago on her own because it was new and she thought it was pretty. She started teaching special education there and fell in love with working with at-risk youth. A few years later Emily became a social worker and had her son (at the same time) and moved to Bennington. She is honored to be a part of this great group!

Why are you an ACT member? Why do you work to support healthy youth?

I am an ACT member because I know how important prevention is and how much more effective it can be than reaction. Our children are our future. They deserve their childhoods and their youth, and promoting their health allows this to be more reachable for them.

What do you love most about living and/or working in Bennington?

I live and work in Bennington. It is beautiful here, full of history, and working with these kids has shown me the true meaning of the word “grit.” I have met the most determined, insightful and passionate young folks and I have no doubt they will change the world.

Top three songs on your current playlist:

I have a 3-year-old. The top 3 songs on my playlist include the Paw Patrol theme song, Jingle Bell Rock (yes in February), and finally, Walk the Moon’s “One Foot” which I have been enjoying between the drop-off at preschool in the morning and arriving at work (which is either the high school for office hours or the middle school to meet my coworker to do home visits).

What are you reading right now?

The World According to Garp by John Irving and The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I am always reading at least 2 books at the same time.

What are you doing to support your health and wellness lately?

That’s tough. I’m a single mom and have two jobs related to wellness/social work which take a lot of mental and emotional work and time. I have to weave self-care into my activities and day, so I do a lot of mindfulness on the go and that type of thing. I also make sure to book myself a yoga class once in awhile, read for a few hours, attend my Quaker meeting (yes, I’m a Quaker and I love talking about what that means so I’m super open to questions!), or other things that nurture my spirit and help me center and remain or become present and at peace.

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