New Employee Spotlight – Beleqsa Tamaami

We’d like to take a moment and recognize our newest employees to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

Tamaami, Beleqsa

Beleqsa Tamaami

My new role is Basic Skills Navigator in the MAC (Master Achiever Center). This past May, I received my Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University, where I served as a graduate supervisor in housing for two years. Prior to IU, I worked as an AmeriCorps college coach with College Access Now, serving first-gen and low-income seniors at Decatur High School. My professional interests are rooted in supporting marginalized students and disrupting systems of oppression.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

It’s my alma mater; who doesn’t want to be a gator? GRC, despite some of the challenges I recall as a former student, is also the place where I grew and broke out of my shell through my amazing mentors. For this reason, I look forward to pouring into students the same way folks did for me.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?

Shawn Mendes and anything pop music related globally (Bollywood, Kpop, etc.)

What was the very first job you ever had?

Internship with the city of Kent in the summer of junior year in high school. We painted a really beautiful mural on one side of the Kent pool (it’s still there) by Kent Meridian High School.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The connections and relationships I get to build with my students and colleagues. And the salary (I was on a graduate stipend for the past two years and prior to that an AmeriCorps stipend, the glo-up is definitely real ha)

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?

Build meaningful connections with different departments outside of my immediate role  on campus and inspire/mentor students who might not always see themselves reflected in higher education.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

  • Graduating with my Masters this past May and seeing my family and friends fly out to Indiana for the first time to experience that with me. My graduating is as much theirs as it is mine.
  • Studying abroad three times in undergrad (China, Morocco, and Jordan), all fully funded through scholarships and financial aid.
  • Graduating with my BA again from UW Tacoma (after transferring from GRC in 2014), as a first gen student and the eldest of my siblings. This was a huge accomplishment and surreal moment for my family and me.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?

I don’t have a hidden talent so instead I would just show everyone the video my friends and I made dancing to the #BeforeILetGo challenge in our graduate gowns and making it on Beyoncé’s Instagram story.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?

Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Everyone, Else, Nonessential

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