Meet Us Monday

By March 28, 2016FirstLink

Meet us Monday is a monthly blog we do to introduce you to our amazing staff. Today, FirstLink would like to introduce you to Angie Hedstrom, Database and Resource Coordinator at FirstLink.

Tell us about yourself: 

I attended North Dakota State University where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Science with minors in Individual and Family Wellness and Psychology.  I grew up in the area and don’t ever see myself leaving here.  This doesn’t mean I like the frigid cold winters, but it does give me an excuse to curl up on the couch with coffee or hot chocolate to watch a movie.

What is your role at FirstLink and how long have you worked here?

I began supporting FirstLink’s mission in 2006 when I started volunteering here.  Since then, I have had the pleasure of wearing many hats over the years.   Shortly after beginning volunteer work, I transitioned to being an intern and then was quickly hired as part-time staff which later transitioned to full-time.  At this time, I serve as the lead for the database team as the Database and Resource Coordinator. I have achieved two certifications through Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) – Certified Information and Referral Specialist for Aging and Certified Resource Specialist and one through the Crisis Worker Certification through the American Association of Suicidology.  In 2012, I became an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) trainer.  I have had the opportunity to plan different FirstLink events in the past and enjoy helping others out with projects.

What do you enjoy most about your work at FirstLink?

Working at FirstLink is extremely rewarding, however there are two specific things that stick out the most in terms of what brings me the most joy about my role here.  The first one is learning about new resources throughout our service area (North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota) and being able to translate what they services they offer into a format our call specialists can use to help them find and refer to those options.  It is extremely rewarding to discover and add a new service and then hear about how it was able to help a caller.  Adding one resource could provide a life changing service or connection for someone in need.  Secondly, I look forward to offering the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training to community members.  The two day workshop is designed to help anyone in the community learn suicide first-aid and it is amazing to see participants progress throughout it.  With the taboo and stigma around suicide, participants learn how crucial it is talk openly about suicide and how they don’t need to have advanced degrees to develop these skills.  I find it hopeful to see others leave the training knowing that they have gained skills or strengthened their current skills to make a difference in suicide interventions.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself:

I love quotes and color!  I find that ‘simple’ sayings can draw out so much laughter, provide strength in a time of need, or even motivate one to push that extra step forward. I find color so inspirational and often say there is no such thing as too much color.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?

I really enjoy spending time with family, friends, and pets (2 cats and 1 dog…for now).  I look forward to days when I can be outside with the sun shining.  I love being a spectator at sporting events and attending various outdoor events.

People would be surprised if they knew:

Most people that know me know that I am not super adventurous, so it might be surprising to know that of my favorite life experiences was riding on a rip-cord over a rainforest in Costa Rica.  It was an amazing opportunity and I’d love to be able to do it again one day.

Angie