We are so excited to announce that our staff is growing! Amanda Longe-Asque started at the beginning of the month as our fourth full-time staff member. Amanda will be working with Tina Villapando, Director of Programming, facilitating adult and family music classes. She will also work with Executive Director Marge Nykaza and Community Engagement Director Sophie Wingland, facilitating Harmony, Hope & Healing Choir rehearsals and training new section leaders.
Getting to know you...
Program Manager Q&A:
You’ve been singing in the Harmony, Hope & Healing choir for 12 years, first as a participant then as a program assistant. How does it feel to now be a full-time staff member?
ALA: It feels magical. I am so charged about working around such groundedness. In addition to the staff's professional skills and qualifications, there is a quality about HHH. They continue to empower and encourage me to let down my barriers so I can achieve ongoing success.
What are you most excited about with your new Program Manager position?
I am so excited to use my life experience, skills and capabilities as a Program Manager as a force for positive change in the community. I want to create trusting relationships with those
What’s your favorite song?
My favorite song is “Get up Stand Up” by Bob Marley. It still remains an all-purpose change mantra, nearly 50 years after it was first sung.
What does a normal work day look like for you?
Packing my car with bags of instruments and song books for a fantastic musical voyage. Showing up at sites bringing a smile, sharing a song and an open heart. Collaborating with a team of compassionate professionals throughout the day, ensuring that we are there for each other in any capacity needed.
What is your most memorable moment from the last two weeks?
My most memorable moment was at the Primo Center. A one year old twin baby girl met me at the beginning of the class, watching intently and by the end of class she crawled over to me pulled at my pants leg and raised her hands for me to pick her up. That’s why I love working at HHH. We have an ability to create trusting relationships with those we serve through the restorative power of music.
A bit more about Amanda in her own words:
"I am eager to use my life experience, skills and capabilities as Program Manager as a force for positive change in the community. I want to advocate and fight for those who have no voice or little power. When human beings experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to fall apart. My great passion is to accompany their journey of healing through the power of music.
I became a part of the HHH family officially in 2008 as a dedicated music program assistant for over ten years; I have also served as Witness Coordinator for the Chicago ISP women’s team and then joined the national ISP staff as Program Assistant for Team Formation. In this capacity, I have traveled all over the country training other women as witnesses, helping to open new ISP programs and facilitating women’s retreats. I am currently pursuing a B.A. degree in Community Wellness, Spirituality and Counseling.
I have been in love with music my whole life. Because of my passion for music and my life experiences, I find I can easily read people and situations, and accompany people in very vulnerable states. I had a transformational experience in my first music class. The group was singing 'We are Women of Faith' – I felt cared for and loved for who I was, and I reconnected with my authentic voice." - Amanda Longe-Asque