Bianca Racine is the Buddy-to-Buddy May 2017 Volunteer of the Month! Bianca trained as a volunteer in August 2016 and is assigned to the 1775 MP CO at the Pontiac Armory. Bianca stands out because of her warmth and dedication, openness to sharing her story, and willingness to always go the extra mile to help fellow veterans. She is an asset to the program and a pillar of support to the individuals she assists.

Bianca served for nine years in the Army National Guard, first in her home state of Massachusetts and later in Michigan. The work she did in the Guard included supply and logistics, carpentry and masonry, and administration. Bianca works as a data manager for the auto supplier company Hirotec America and is also a full-time student studying pre-social work at Macomb Community College.

Bianca first became aware of Buddy-to-Buddy in 2010 when she met Volunteer Veteran Bob Short while he was assigned to her unit. She explains that she was very closed off and kept to herself at the time, but Bob was able to get her to open up and get to know her. Years later, Bianca found herself suddenly unemployed. She turned to Bob for help and he immediately started looking for employment resources and opportunities for her, and she was ultimately able to find a new job thanks to the assistance he provided.

Bianca said she was motivated to become a Volunteer Veteran because she wanted to help other people, saying, “This program helped me. This program is why I’m able to work, I’m able to go to school, I’m able to go to therapy.” She says that being a volunteer with the program has changed her life for the better and she enjoys being able to help people who are in the position she was ten years ago.

Bianca has done a remarkable job dealing with some very tough situations as a volunteer, including helping to save the lives of veterans in crisis. Her kind and non-judgmental demeanor makes her very approachable. While Bianca has worked with veterans on a range of issues, she says she particularly enjoys working with soldiers in her unit to create and revise their resumes, saying, “I love when they have an interview and call me and tell me they got the job.”

In addition to Buddy-to-Buddy, Bianca also volunteers with The Mission Continues. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and going to Buddhist temple.

We are so glad you are part of our program, Bianca!