United Way of Steele County would like to welcome Aron Welch to the team. His role is the Positive Community Norms Coordinator. He will be based in Blooming Prairie and working with the school district's youth population. We sat down with him to learn a little more about what brought him to Steele County:
What was your path to United Way of Steele County?
I graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a B.A.S. in Public Health Education and Promotion. I wanted to live closer to my family, so I started working for the Winona Area Public Schools as a Personal Care Assistant. My wife and I moved to Albert Lea after she accepted a position as an English teacher for the Albert Lea High School. During this time, I accepted a position at the United South Central School District coordinating the Positive Community Norms (PCN) grant that they were awarded. There I gained 5 years of experience coordinating the PCN grant and working to prevent substance abuse in the USC School district. After their grant expired, I applied for the PCN Coordinator position with the United Way for the Blooming Prairie School District and was fortunate enough to be offered the position!
What excites you the most about taking on the role as the Positive Community Norms Coordinator in Blooming Prairie?
What I am most excited for is using my expertise coordinating PCN grants to jump start the grant work in the Blooming Prairie School District. During my time at the USC School District, I often caught myself wondering how much more effective I could have been at the beginning of the grant cycle if I had the experience I do now. I also was not hired at the beginning of the USC grant cycle, so I am pumped to be at Blooming Prairie since the very beginning!
Help us get to know you a little better. Tell us five fun facts about yourself.
- I love to be outside, my favorite outdoor hobbies are trout fishing, mountain biking, camping, and snowboarding.
- If I won the lottery the first thing I would do is invest in opening a restaurant that specializes in having a menu of authentic food icons from around the world.
- One of my favorite life hacks is rolling up slices of bacon (either individually or in groups of 3) in a sheet of plastic wrap before storing them in a gallon zip lock bag in the freezer. This way when you pull your bacon out of the freezer it doesn’t all just freeze to itself!
- I have watched every episode of Seinfeld at least 10 times.
- The thing I like most about coordinating the PCN grant is all the fun opportunities that arise, like traveling with coalition members to conferences, bringing students to the youth leadership academy, or helping teens plan events like fun nights, outdoor movies, and pep fests.