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Faustina Bohling Uses Her Passion for Inclusivity to Build Community
"We aren’t really individualistic animals, human beings. There’s an interdependence, and that’s important to recognize if we’re to move forward and evolve."
That’s the belief, at least, of Faustina Bohling, Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager at American Family Insurance.
As a proud, strong, professional, multiracial Latina woman, Faustina has worked incredibly hard to get to where she is today — but she recognizes she couldn’t have done it alone. Accrediting many people for helping her achieve success, she values the community around her. And it shows.
Along with championing diversity here at American Family, Faustina serves on a number of boards in the Madison area, acting as a voice for those who may not otherwise be a part of the conversation.
“As I engage in boards and committees, I challenge myself to speak up and be fully present so I can effectively and mindfully represent the communities and people I serve, and the people who aren’t at the table,” says Faustina. “I’m able to give back by sharing what I’ve had the privilege to learn and the experience I’ve gained along the way.”
With this same idea in mind, Faustina also makes a point to challenge her peers to think more inclusively, knowing she can’t make as big an impact alone.
“It truly does take a village to make a difference,” claims Faustina. “And starting conversations that widen others’ perspectives and lead them to question when people aren’t at the table is important. What really fills my cup is hearing my peers say ‘yea, I get it, I’m open to it, and I may have never thought of that!’”
Having wide-spread, people-focused passions, Faustina lends this valuable perspective to a number of initiatives. But there are two in particular she invests the most time in — the Kennedy Heights Community Center (KHCC) and the Latino Professionals Association, LLC (LPA).
Leveraging her expertise in fundraising, program management and human resources, Faustina serves as the secretary on the board for the KHCC, her goal being to help provide quality housing and community to low-income families. While this in and of itself is what she’d call “cup-filling work,” the LPA allows her to fulfill a different passion: creating career opportunities for Latino professionals in her community. For this group, she serves as the board’s co-chair of programming. And she also helps lead the Building Our Legacy Professional Development Conference, which focuses on making connections and mapping out clear career paths for professionals who are looking to take the next step.
Although these organizations represent two different issues, there’s a common thread that’s close to Faustina’s heart: access.
“In all of my community work, most prominently with these two organizations, my goal is always to build access and remove barriers,” shares Faustina. “And my dream is to inspire my peers to find ways to help others, too. Because every choice we make has an impact on those around us.”
It's clear Faustina strives to make a positive impact in everything she does. Have aspirations to give back the way she does? Continue to ask yourself her dream-defining question — “How can we, as individuals, help each other reach our fullest potential?”