Though she imagined a career as a high school teacher, Beth Hampsten believes that she is an educator of another type.
As the new Human Resources Manager at KPEP, Beth has taken on a more "people-specific" set of responsibilities, she says, than in her previous role as the support staff to Assistant Director Beth Frantz. HR allows her more direct interaction and involvement with KPEP staff and she wants to be able to help people succeed in their careers with the organization.
Beth began as a part-time employee 16 years ago, and then moved up to full-time after nine years. She became familiar with some of the aspects of HR while working with Beth Frantz, though she says that learning about unemployment, disability and insurance are the steepest learning curves to conquer at the moment. Beth believes that she is well-suited to her new job not only because of her previous experience but because HR is where her strengths and interests lie.
The supportive atmosphere at KPEP among everyone in the organization is the most rewarding part of her job, according to Beth. "There's always someone who will help you" she notes, which was especially important to her when she attended school to complete her Management and Organizational Development degree from Spring Arbor College.
Beth believes that KPEP is successful because of the structure, boundaries and responsibilities established for the residents. She adds that the relationships that KPEP has worked to establish with the local, state and federal criminal justice and substance abuse treatment system have strengthened the program and lent it even greater credibility to those outside.
As she moves even more deeply into her new position, Beth Hampsten acknowledges that there are still more challenges that she would enjoy taking on at KPEP in the future. For now, "just staying on top of everything is a challenge. There's so much to learn."