by Jeff Berckes
Kinship Foundation’s new Program Associate brings plenty of energy and intellectual curiosity to the position.
Born to Nigerian immigrants, Gladys Banfor grew up wanting to help people. Her sister, born premature, and her father, a cancer survivor, both spent their share of days in the hospital. To many communities, the health care system can be a place of sickness and mystery. Gladys wanted to change that perception to a place of healing and health.
She pursued her BA in Political Science and Biology with a specialization in Neuroscience from the University of Chicago before earning a Masters of Public Health from George Washington University Milken School of Public Health. It was there that she met a professor that planted a seed that would grow to eventually alter her career trajectory.
An environmental course in the master’s program clued Gladys into the relationship between people and the natural environment and she started asking herself questions. How does eating a healthy diet impact the environment? What is my environmental footprint and how can I do better? Who is doing this type of work? How can I do more? Do better?
After working in the public health field for five years, Gladys decided she wanted a chance to explore those ideas more while helping put her logistics and event management planning skills to good use. When the Kinship Foundation position opened, she jumped at the chance to join the team.
Gladys brings an insatiable thirst for learning new things and the ability to build communication campaigns to help spread information in a clear and understandable way. She’s looking forward to learning how she can help “lift up, scale up, and tell everyone about how to replicate it.”
Growing up in a family that immigrated to the United States, she’s particularly keen on working at the global scale and bringing together the diverse Kinship Conservation Fellows community. She enjoys diving into new recipe books and trying foods from around the world as she starts to fill her travel log with new and interesting places.
If Gladys comes to your town, you’re likely to find her at the local art museum or playhouse, taking in the culture and artistic expressions of the creative class. Her happy place is finding the quiet corner of a city buzzing with pollinators away from the buzz of city life or away from the city altogether at a beach.
Help me welcome Gladys to the Kinship community!