Tracey Gustafson

Worcester, MA

I was a computer engineer with 17 years’ experience at Intel in Hudson, MA. I chose an Encore Fellowship at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest in Worcester, MA as a MySTEM Development Fellow. MySTEM is mentoring youth in science, technology, engineering and math. I was looking for something interesting to do and this looked like a good opportunity to use my skills to give back.

I was involved in directly working with the Bigs (mentors) and Littles (youth) by creating and conducting STEM activities to spark interest and make them believe that they are capable and it is something they can do…having a career in STEM. I also did outreach work by seeking out and meeting with potential corporate partners or individuals, helping MySTEM gain community recognition and generating new funding.

Jessica Haggett, Director of MySTEM and Corporate Programs, shared, “We are so lucky to have had Tracey working on the MySTEM program. Her years of professional experience, her confidence, and her eagerness to learn were assets to our agency. She jumped right in as a member of the whole BBBSCM team, and integrated herself as a valuable player. We benefited enormously from her organizational acumen and her ability to develop and execute complex plans. Her intimate knowledge of engineering and the STEM world helped skyrocket MySTEM in her first year. We cannot wait to see what Tracey can accomplish as a member of our team going forward.”

I have been asked to stay on at Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Mass/Metrowest because of my impact on the STEM programming. As a Fellow it was exciting to use my experience and contacts in the STEM community to help expand the MySTEM program. By working directly with the youth and mentors, it ignited my belief in mentoring and made it easy to bring this passion into my discussions with potential partners. I’ll be staying with BBBS MySTEM following my Fellowship as a staff member. After working on strategic planning, I’m confident we can continue to grow in breadth and depth.