Member Spotlight: Connie Bambadji
Connie Bambadji found out about the Alpert JCC from a family friend in the Valley. Connie and her husband, Sacha, were looking for a place to get involved, and when their friend raved about the AJCC, they decided to check it out. Here they are four and a half years later, and wow is she involved! Their first son, Zachary, started in the ECE program when he turned 2, and the middle one, Ayva, is currently enrolled here. Connie says she is very excited that her youngest, Hattie, will go through the program as well. They are already in “From the Beginning, ” the free family participation class for newborns through walking.
Connie said that although it took her a while to become an actively involved parent, she really jumped in when ECE Director Linda Keiles came on board to head the ECE program. Connie kicked it up a notch last year when she was asked to become a part of the ECE Committee. By default, Sacha also became actively involved with the ECE Committee. Connie laughs and explains: “When I was pregnant, Sacha came with me to all the meetings, and he loves it here too! We gained a lot of great friendships in ECE, and my oldest son is still friends with friends he made here.”
Connie explains that being involved with the all aspects of ECE makes the experience even better. “You’re getting to experience everything first hand as it happens. Take the garden, for example. From sitting in the meeting and discussing it and talking about the planters and then building the planters and then through to the planting of the flowers. It’s all great to be a part of.”
Connie has also been involved with the new look for the ECE lobby. “Being on the committee and being a parent and combining the two gives you a whole different perspective on being a member here. You really see it through a different lens.”
And after four years of being an active ECE parent, last summer Connie was invited to become an AJCC board member. “It’s also really great to see this side of the JCC—to see how the building operates. I learned so much from just one meeting on the board. Being a volunteer here has really paid off in so many ways. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who really wants to get involved with a great place.”
ECE director Linda Keiles adds, ““Connie is a dynamo; if something is possible, she makes it happen. In fact, even when something seems impossible she still somehow makes it happen! She’s spearheaded so many things over the last 2 years, from our ECE Communication plan to our successful Open House/Ice Cream Social. I’m thrilled that her youngest is only one year old, so I can keep working with her and watching her make things go, go, go!”