This month, we spotlight a new Explore Austin Mentor, Becca DeRoeck. Becca works for Slalom, a global strategy, technology, and business firm and one of Explore Austin’s generous corporate supporters. We are so grateful to Becca and Slalom for their contributions to our mission. Get to know Becca below!
Where do you work?
I am a Talent Acquisition Senior Manager at Slalom, where I lead our technical recruiting efforts focused here in Austin. I really enjoy my role & getting to bring amazing people into a truly people-centered & integrity-driven organization!
What drew you to Explore Austin?
I was a volunteer with Upper Ninety (now Verde Leaders), which brings after-school soccer programs to at-risk and economically disadvantaged youth. I was a volunteer with them for about a year until COVID hit and things took a pause and at that point I also changed jobs into a more demanding role, which made it difficult for me to commit to weekly practice sessions. After a relatively quiet year of work & staying socially isolated due to COVID, I was itching to get involved in a good cause with a particular focus on the outdoors. I live in Georgetown which is a more rural community & I started to really appreciate all of the opportunities to get into the outdoors & engage in my favorite hobby – bird-watching. It was important for me to find an organization where I could pour into others & really share my love of nature and Explore Austin popped up in a Google search as I started learning about local volunteer opportunities. Shortly thereafter, I signed up to be a sub-mentor and was immediately hooked on the program! I took time to think through what a six-year commitment might look like and it wasn’t long before I made the decision to apply for a full-time mentorship. I was elated when I found out I was one of the chosen few to join the 2028 girls’ program as a mentor!
What’s a fun fact about you?
I grew up in a small town in Sweden and moved to the US when I was 10 years old. My dad is American & my mom is Swedish so I grew up speaking both languages at home. My background is very multi-cultural, with my dad’s family coming from the Amish & Mennonite communities in the Midwest & East coast and my mom’s side of the family coming from Sweden & New Zealand. With the experience of moving abroad at a young age, I learned very quickly what it’s like to have to start over, make new friends, & adapt in new circumstances. The kids that are part of Explore Austin tend to share a similar background of growing up in bi-lingual households & having to adapt given their sometimes difficult circumstances. I enjoy connecting with & supporting young people who may be struggling in many of the same ways I did when I moved here, so it’s extremely rewarding for me to get to share my experience & also learn from them!
What sport would you be in if you were in the olympics?
I ran track in high school & competed in the 400m run as well as several relays. It was tough keeping up after middle school when everyone else grew & I stayed stuck at 5’2”! But if I could compete in the Olympics, I’d definitely want to get back on the track and race again. There’s nothing like that nervous feeling at the starting line & hearing the gun go off…but once you’re running everything else melts away!
What is your favorite park/national park/spot in nature and why?
That’s a tough question – I have so many favorite spots! One place that stands out is Lynn Canyon in Vancouver, Canada. My husband and I traveled to Vancouver for the first time in 2015 and fell in love with it. The beauty & variety of plants, animals & landscapes there is unmatched!