This past week, Adrie and I had the immense pleasure of having Kaitlyn “Bucky” Yates come and spend time with us in Cusco.
Bucky (as she’s known to most) is a woman of many talents; she currently works as a community program manager for a philanthropic foundation in central California, she has a masters in International Agriculture Development, and she’s an all-around athlete—you can catch her rock climbing, hiking, running, or doing yoga in her free time. And, nearest and dearest to our hearts, she’s also a former GirlSportWorks project manager!
Bucky served as a project manager in Cusco five years ago, and she returned this week for the first time since her GSW days. While Bucky got to visit her former stomping grounds and reconnect with old friends, she was also here on a mission: to help GirlSportWorks grow and improve.
With her firsthand knowledge of GSW and her experience working in community development and project management, Bucky had a lot of valuable insight to contribute. We discussed how GSW as a program can improve as well as ways in which Adrie and I can continue our own professional development. It was incredibly helpful (and fun!) to brainstorm solutions with Bucky to some challenges we’ve been facing as project managers, such as improving classroom behavior management, negotiating court space at Santoni’s public courts, and figuring out logistics for a “Women in Sports” career/field day event. We’re super excited to implement some of our new ideas that Bucky helped us come up with!
In addition to guiding our professional development and observing our classes, Bucky also spent time strengthening GSW’s relationships with our partners and peers. She met with the directors of all our partner schools as well as representatives of several NGOs that also work in Cusco. Through these meetings, Bucky gained additional valuable perspective on how we can continue to improve our programming and partner more closely with community stakeholders.
Beyond the professional benefits of having Bucky visit, it was also just super interesting to hang out with a previous project manager and compare experiences! Bucky’s visit was a great reminder of the fantastic alumni network that GSW has, and it made us want to connect with more of our predecessors. It’s inspiring to think that there are 15 years worth of former project managers out there doing amazing things now, and Adrie and I feel very lucky to be part of such a cool legacy. And who knows? Maybe in five years we’ll come back to Cusco, older and wiser, to share our own insights with the newest duo of project managers.
A massive thank you to Bucky for her visit—it was a joy and an honor to have her come and spend time with us, as well as a huge help.