Employee Spotlight – Shauntey Jenkins
February marks Black History Month, which provides a time to recognize the invaluable contributions Black Americans have made throughout history. At Helix Electric, we are honored to observe the month, while of course remembering that this celebration and acknowledgment must go beyond just one span of time.
To honor Black History Month and the continuing story of Black history, we spotlight employees that represent what it means to be #TeamHelix and represent their African American community.
Shauntey Jenkins – Leadperson
How has your heritage, events, or people in your life shaped who you are today?
Honestly, working with Helix Electric has been a life-changing experience for me. I think my initial motivation and drive originated from my family life experiences. I wanted more out of my life. I wanted to be great. I recall listening to my grandparents and learning about their pasts. Their parents were sharecroppers from GA and VA. My mom was and is a big influence on me. She raised me well even when she didn’t have much. My mom was always my biggest supporter and cheerleader. Knowing that I came from incredibly strong people, its only right that I fight to be the best. If my mom could do it, I can do it. My mom is 57 and still accomplishing new goals. I admire her and aspire to be like her.
What achievements/sacrifices have you made to get you where you are today?
Being the first woman to complete the Leadership Development Program (LDP) at Helix is one of my biggest accomplishments. Looking in from the outside, it seemed so challenging, but once I started, I knew I would be able to complete this goal. The biggest sacrifice I had to endure was the loss of friends once I made the decision to focus on my career.
Why is Black history month important to you and what would you like others to know regarding BHM?
BHM is important to me because this is THE month. I feel like Black Lives DO Matter. This is the one time of the year where African Americans get to shine, and be proud of ourselves, and of our accomplishments. History is important because we can see where we came from, and show how far we have come, and the direction we are going. We get to show pride in what our ancestors fought so hard to achieve and pave the way for us to be in the current positions that we are in. In the future, I would like to see more young ladies, who look like me, in the trade. I would like to be a part of fostering that next generation through mentorship internally and/or externally.
How do you plan to honor Black History Month as you continue to achieve at Helix?
I plan to keep taking advantage of growth opportunities at work. I strive to achieve the next level in the electrical trade. I am always trying to encourage my co-workers, with positive affirmations, to let them know they are crushing it. I don’t ever want to conform; I always want to be the person they hired to be an electrician while staying true to myself and my heritage.
Who or what inspires you to make your mark at Helix?
Someone took the time to invest into me, so I feel that it is only right for me to invest in others. I was connected to Jennifer Gajdoisk, from Building Futures in DC, who took a chance on me, and invested in me, to be able to apply for a job at Helix. The black youth encourage me, and at some point, I want to bring the inner-city kids into the electrical trade. I see what is going on in my city and it pains me. I want to be able to shine my light as bright as I can to make a difference by introducing the electrical trades to others in my community. I can only do this by sharing my personal story which includes my past struggles that I once though I couldn’t overcome.