Meet one of our newest board members, Jonathan Asen, whose career has brought him back to Maine to the firm of Bernstein Shur, where he is currently employed as a political consultant.
Prior to this position, Jonny served as Chief of Staff to the Maine Speaker of the House, was the Coordinated Campaign Director for the Maine Democratic Party, and spent five years working in the Obama White House. Among many other attributes, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in fundraising and relationship building to the board which is certain to be an important asset to the agency.
Jonny has been familiar with the Kids First Center since he was a young child, as his parents experienced their own divorce early in his life. His father, Michael Asen, a Portland divorce attorney, later became one of the founding members of the Center.
When Jonny was a teenager, he participated in training at Kids First where he was given the opportunity to work with younger children whose families were experiencing a separation or divorce. Reflecting openly on his childhood experience of having parents living apart and traveling back and forth with his brothers between two households, he saw first-hand how much the younger children involved listened and benefited from hearing his message of resilience.
Additionally, Jonny later produced a video for a high school senior project in which he interviewed teachers, attorneys, parents, and kids about their own experiences with separation and divorce.
Jonny approaches his appointment to the Board of Kids First with context and history. The peaceful co-parenting model Kids First created, with the help of founding members like his father, is evident in his childhood experience and has equipped him with empathy and compassion for the families we serve. Celebrating his daughter’s second birthday recently with both of his parents and their spouses happily in attendance, his family story speaks volumes. His desire to see children benefiting from programming here, as well as his wish to see the Center continue on solid financial footing, make him a valuable new member of the team.
“I learned how important our behavior (verbal and non-verbal) is, and how it impacts our children. How I can rise above all issues, and just focus on my babies.”
“What I learned was that the best thing I can do for my kids is to say something good about their other parent!”
“I appreciated the focus on how many different relationships my/our kids are dealing with.”
“I learned I am in control of my behavior; I can’t control my co-parent!”
“I received validation; it helped to know that I’m not alone. I appreciated the section on preparing for court – that is coming up soon and I am scared.”