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MAP student makes impact at local non-profit

By Lesley Neff, M.A. | September 10, 2018

Joey BaertschiJoey Baertschi is one very busy man, but living proof it can be done! He has a family of 5 – he and his wife, Jennifer live on the north-east side of Indianapolis with their two-year-old son Andrew; their dog, Lance, and cat, Lars. Joey works full time, goes to school full time and still finds energy to dedicate to a local non-profit, Nathan’s Playroom, one of Marian’s Adult Program (MAP) partners.

From Paralegal to Bachelor of Business Administration

Joey completed his paralegal studies degree this past May, having started at Bose McKinney & Evans just two months prior as a legal assistant. He is now a senior in Marian’s Adult & Online Programs pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (BBA).

Deciding to continue with his BBA was not an easy choice. Joey and his wife discussed it for over a month. With some help from his academic advisor, Lynn, he realized that he could complete both the Paralegal Studies program and the BBA, in about two and a half years. Once they had a path laid out, it made much more sense to "double up" and complete the coursework concurrently. Now, one semester from graduation, Joey is “extremely glad I made the choice I did. I am already applying the knowledge I've obtained through my business classes to my career and my personal life.”

Intern Turned Board Member

Had Joey not chosen to pursue his BBA at Marian, he would never have been connected with such an amazing organization, which started off as a semester long internship, but became much more. Joey started working with Kevin Tamosaitis, Founder of Nathan’s Playroom in 2016, and over the last two years, he has worked on several projects. 

The main focus of Joey’s internship was planning and organizing an initiative that would encourage local businesses to re-evaluate the accessibility of their facilities to individuals who use wheelchairs. From there, he and Kevin began developing the "Spot the Space" program, which they hope to implement in 2019. "Spot the Space" will bring attention to the parking needs of wheelchair-bound individuals. For example, many people are unaware that the blue-lined spaces between accessible parking spots are used for loading and unloading wheelchairs. Joey shared that he didn't even know this until working with Nathan's Playroom! Spot the Space is designed to raise awareness about this and other accessibility issues that disabled individuals in Indianapolis face. 

While Joey’s internship with Nathan's Playroom is over, his work with the organization is not. Upon completing the required internship hours, NP's CEO, Kevin Tamosaitis, offered him a position on the Board of Directors. We have several other projects currently in the works, including a celebrity golf outing on September 20th, and a proposal to Make-A-Wish coming in the near future.

As a member of the Board, Joey is focused on the overall mission of the organization, to which Tamosaitis says Joey has “proven to be an asset,” to provide support services to siblings of seriously or chronically ill children. Tamosaitis calls Joey “a breath of fresh air to our organization since he was paired with us for a project through MAP. His genuine caring about our mission has been evident since the day we met and shows through his efforts and deliberate thoughtfulness about our project.”

Where will he go next?

How about law school?!

Not only did the decision Joey made with his wife to continue his education benefit Nathan’s Playroom, it will lead to a new career endeavor for Joey, which has been highly influenced by his job opportunity at Bose McKinney & Evans as a litigation legal administrative assistant. In Joey’s words, “To say this job has been a blessing is a massive understatement!”

Joey credits this experience and his interaction with these legal professionals as having a huge impact on his own career path. After completing his BBA in December, he plans on taking the LSAT, then applying to law school.

In five years, he hopes to still be working at BME, but as an associate instead of an assistant! Oh, and he plans to still be a part of a Nathan’s Playroom, of course.

 

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