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Staff Spotlight: Nate Peterson

April 12

Nate Peterson was promoted to Dane County Summer Program Director last summer after spending time as after school program manager and previously site supervisor at Prairie Elementary in Waunakee. Many of the children who know Mr. Nate, know he always has a good joke to share. Continue reading to learn a bit more about Mr. Nate.

Q1: When did you start working with Wisconsin Youth Company and what has been your favorite memory so far?

I started working with WYC in Fall 2013 as a site supervisor at Prairie Elementary. Since then, I worked many years as a after school program manager and recently (June 2021) have taken on a new role as Summer Program Director.

It’s really hard to pick a specific favorite memory after all of these years, but I would say that as I get older it is very rewarding to hear from previous program children and families the amount of impact attending WYC programs has had on their lives.

Q2: What is the most important thing you learned as a child that still applies today?

It is never too late to start something new. I would often get discouraged when seeing others doing activities I thought I may enjoy myself, but did not have a lot of experience with. I try to always remember that learning is a process, and everyone has to start somewhere.

Q3: Who was a mentor you looked up to when you were younger? Why did you look up to them?

I have always really admired my grandparents, and am extremely fortunate to still have them to look up to to this day. They always seemed to (and still do) have the answers for any of life’s problems. I think I admire them so much because they are never afraid to give hard advice, even if it’s not the advice or answer you might necessarily be looking for. I remember always appreciating that as young person too.

Q4: What is your favorite part about working with kids?

I really enjoy the constant challenge that working directly with youth provides. Sometimes that challenge comes in the form of a difficult behavior or circumstance, sometimes it comes in the act of providing an engaging plan or activity for a group of kiddos, and sometimes it comes directly from a child challenging me to a game of chess. The wide spectrum of different situations that can come up in working with children means a work day that’s rarely boring, and demands constant flexibility. And while that can certainly be difficult, it is extremely rewarding to look back on any given day and know that I helped in putting a smile on a child’s face.

Say “hi” next time you see Mr. Nate!