Ashley Ward, Marketing & Graphics Assistant
Tell us about yourself. My name is Ashley Ward, my hometown is Sidney, IA, Rodeo Town USA. I’m now living in North KC and I am the Marketing and Graphic Design Assistant here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City. Someone that really knows me, knows that I’m interested in A LOT of things. If you knew me in college, you would get that. I changed my major 3 times. First a Music Education major, then Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education, then lastly, a Graphic Designer. One thing all of these majors have in common is that it has to deal with problem solving, creativity, and helping others. I’m so glad that I found Big Brothers Big Sisters, it was my calling really. It’s a perfect mixture of my passions and interests. I get to utilize my skills to help people connect with Big Brothers Big Sisters and all of the kids that are waiting for a Big Brother, Big Sister, or Big Couple. I’m glad I get to be the face of an amazing organization that is creating life changing friendships, I’m so proud of our work and mission here at Big Brothers Big Sisters.
What is your alma mater? Northwest Missouri State University – B.F.A. Graphic Design
Where are you from originally and where do you live now? I’m originally from Sidney, IA and I’m now living in North KC.
What is your favorite thing about KC? There are so many favorite things about Kansas City. First – the culture and people here are diverse, you never know who you’re going to meet! The people that I have met, and individuals who I know and have lived here for all their lives LOVE their city, and that makes me feel good about where I ended up. Next, there’s always something to do, I am not a native of KC and every day is an adventure trying new things! Lastly, KC makes me feel at home – my friends from college have moved here after graduation building families and careers and I feel like a have a great support system here.
What’s a fun fact about yourself? I can play Alto Sax and Ukulele
What are your hobbies? Playing Alto Sax, Spoiling my Dog, Singing Show Tunes, and Binge watching Netflix,
Who was your mentor? My mentors were my parents and my three older brothers.
What attracted you to BBBSKC? What attracted me the most to BBBSKC was that I knew I would be making an impact on others. I’ve always wanted my art to make a positive impact on this world, and what better way than by supporting children in the KC area. I’ve always had amazing mentors growing up, whether it be my parents, my brothers, or teachers that I’ve had while growing up. I think everyone deserves someone who will be there to support them, lift them up, encourage them, and help guide their way through life. Without my mentors, I know I couldn’t be where I am today. Someday soon, I want be become a Big Sister or a Big Couple with my soon to be husband in the organization!
What excites you most about your position? The things that excite me most about this position is first being able to work with every single person in the organization. I love getting a perspective of how the agency runs in different departments and getting to work with new people all the time is refreshing! I am also very excited to be working along side my Marketing Team. I love being able to learn from each one of them, working alongside marketing/design professionals that have been in the industry for years is inspirational and I’m learning new things all the time! It’s true – you don’t stop learning after school is over!
Nina Trespalacios-Paris, ACES Case Manager
Tell us about yourself. My name is Nina, I am 22 (soon to be 23 on April 3rd), I’m a big KU basketball fan, I’m the oldest of 3 and I love music!
What is your alma mater? University of Kansas ’16 (BA of Psychology, Certifications in Sociology and Spanish
Where are you from originally and where do you live now? Kansas City, MO!
What is your favorite thing about KC? All the art placed throughout the city.
What’s a fun fact about yourself? My full name has more characters than the alphabet and I have an unhealthy obsession with anything, peach, pink or rose gold.
What are your hobbies? Watching anime/reading manga, gaming, ceramics, researching anything related to Space/Universe and crocheting.
Who was your mentor? I looked up to prominent Black Women such as Maya Angelou, Nina Simone, Nikki Giovanni, Mae Jemison, etc.
What attracted you to BBBSKC? I was a former Little in the Kauffman Scholars program!
What excites you most about your position? I get to work with so many people from different backgrounds. Being exposed to different cultures is fascinating.
Jess Simmons, Case Manager
Tell us about yourself. I recently got married last October to a wonderful guy named Kyle. We have a 1 year old German Shepherd, her name is Mabel. I am a huge KU fan (ROCK CHALK!!), I enjoy eating breakfast food anytime of the day, and I am a very proud northerner!
What is your alma mater? University of Kansas, Bachelor’s in Social Work.
Where are you from originally and where do you live now? I am from Winona, Minnesota. I currently live in Lenexa, Kansas.
What is your favorite thing about KC? I love that it’s a hidden gem of the Midwest!
What’s a fun fact about yourself? I am a huge Lucille Ball fanatic. I own every episode of I Love Lucy. I have Lucille Ball books, magnets, coffee mugs, even I Love Lucy pajamas. I should probably seek help, it’s an obsession.
What are your hobbies? I really enjoy spending time with my family, reading, exploring the Kansas City area, and traveling abroad. I am starting to study Spanish and hope to be bilingual someday!
Who was your mentor? My two older sisters, Christy and Kathy.
What attracted you to BBBSKC? The whole culture! I am so happy to be working with motivated, goal-driven like-minded individuals that want to make a difference in the KC community.
What excites you most about your position? The opportunity to build a relationship and support the Bigs, Littles, and their families.
Brittney Scarborough, Case Manager
Tell us about yourself. Kansas City Native, Columbus Park resident. I have worked in social services for close to 10 years with a variety of populations to include offenders, homeless, youth, child abuse and neglect, students, and the mentally ill. I have a dog named Sasha Fierce Diamond Scarborough, who I adopted from KCPP 3 years ago. You can often find us at the dog parks on the weekends. I also teach Zumba fitness classes at a local community center twice a week. Lastly, I am a huge huge huge huge Chiefs fan!
What is your alma mater? Undergrad I attended Central Methodist University, and received an Masters of Science from UMKC
Where are you from originally and where do you live now? Kansas City born and raised
What is your favorite thing about KC? Farmers Market, Art district/ Fountains, and I love food….so of course our BBQ selection!
What’s a fun fact about yourself? I have a dogs sense of smell I think (this can be a positive and negative.
What are your hobbies? Crime documentaries, vinyl records, and dancing.
Who was your mentor? My mentor was my college Professor, Dr. Novak, who encouraged me to “stay out of my head” and trust in myself. We co-authored together on a publication and he guided me to many of my professional roles.
What attracted you to BBBSKC? The reputation BBBSKC has in the community not only in the services provided, but in how employees were valued and treated within the organization.
What excites you most about your position? I am looking forward to working with volunteers and the families involved with matches. It will definitely be a change in pace to support individuals that have agreed and are committed to the program. I am most excited to get to know the Bigs and Littles and have the ability to “watch” their relationship grow and see the impact each has on one another’s lives.
Maggie Klos, ACES Case Manager
Tell us about yourself. My name is Maggie Klos. I am from Leawood, KS and went to college at the University of San Diego. After college, I taught for 3 years in Detroit Public Schools through Teach for America and then moved back to Kansas City. I currently live in River Market and enjoy living and working in Kansas City.
What is your alma mater? University of San Diego
Where are you from originally and where do you live now? From – Leawood, KS; Currently Reside In – River Market.
What is your favorite thing about KC? The people, the streetcar, and all the hidden gems around the city (such as Graffiti Alley & Penn Valley Skate Park!)
What’s a fun fact about yourself? It is my dream to be on Survivor (I have sent in 2 audition tapes)!
What are your hobbies? Exploring Kansas City (riding bikes, walking around parks, going to shows, trying new restaurants, and instagramming around the city)
Who was your mentor? My mentors continue to be my family and friends.
What attracted you to BBBSKC? The opportunity to support BBBSKC’s mission of creating lifelong friendships which ensures all children in Kansas City have the support needed to meet their undeniable potential.
What excites you most about your position? Providing guidance to Bigs to support their friendship with their Little, working in a team environment, and facilitating teamings where a Big and Little meet for the first time. In addition, I am also looking forward to working with ACES students and ensuring they have the opportunities and support necessary to achieve their future goals.