How BSI’s CSR team defines employee, community engagement

Working together to build new careers in the service of community and social change, from left, BSI Community Social Responsibility team staff Nathan Ada, Dori Camacho, Jia Kapileo, and Gregorio Sablan. (Contributed Photo)

Working together to build new careers in the service of community and social change, from left, BSI Community Social Responsibility team staff Nathan Ada, Dori Camacho, Jia Kapileo, and Gregorio Sablan. (Contributed Photo)

As Best Sunshine International, Ltd. continues to reach out and collaborate with the community, its outreach arm—the Corporate Social Responsibility team—is defining what building relationship means.

Its Corporate Social Responsibility work has also become an avenue for employees to give back, and is equally important to morale and builds a collaborative and inspired team.

Making music and making social impact

Nathan Hofschneider Ada, a CSR representative, remarks how he is not only able to share his passion for music with his friends and family, but also, how he is able to incorporate music into his efforts towards community outreach.

A talented musician and an extremely driven worker, Ada also enjoys giving back to the community whether through self-initiated projects or working alongside his CSR department’s weekly outreach projects. Ada always tries to take it upon himself to help the islands following the devastation brought by Typhoon Soudelor.

“I did some self-initiated volunteering after Typhoon Soudelor,” explained Ada. “A friend and I went around the island handing out canned goods and plates of rice. We tried to go to every household throughout different villages.”

For most of his life, Ada grew up on the island of Tinian and shortly after high school, he decided to move to Saipan with his father and his family. His pursuit to find a job that would fit his interest started and over time, he was offered a job at Best Sunshine to work with the CSR team.

Now with CSR, it reminds him of the time spent growing up on Tinian.

“The reason why I really enjoy CSR is because I grew up in Tinian and a lot of the things I used to do every day growing up is similar to what we do in our department,” he said. “For example, we did a lot of cleaning and beautifying the island. The CSR team also does a lot of repairing and restoring and it really reminds me of the times we would repaint my grandma’s house on her birthday.”

What he truly appreciates about working for Best Sunshine is his ability to incorporate his passion for music into different outreach projects that the CSR team participates in. You can find him front and center at events strumming along to his guitar and singing a pleasant-sounding tune for the villagers at CSR’s weekly Village Pride events.

He added, “The best thing about my job is being able to incorporate my passion for music into my work. I had to put a pause on my music for a while because of Typhoon Soudelor and it wasn’t until I started working for Best Sunshine that I was able to really showcase my music again. I really appreciate that as a local producer of music, Best Sunshine has given me a chance to sing and play again. I get to perform for a lot of our events such Village Pride, at street market, and the Aging Center. I even get to perform for my coworkers on their lunch breaks, too.”

Furthermore, Ada shares how he was able to learn so much in a short amount of time. Whether it be learning new skills while on the field or understanding the fundamentals of working in an office, Ada feels extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to not only work in a department that he enjoys, but with a team who share the same goals as he does.

“I can definitely foresee how a lot of what I’m learning here at Best Sunshine will help me in the future,” stated Ada. “Even though I’m working with a team that has so many different personalities, we are able to really get the job done when it’s time to come together and complete our projects. They really taught me that working together is better than working alone. My team is very dependable and we are always learning new things from each other.”

He adds, “It’s great to know that people have stability with this job and they’re able to provide for themselves and their families. I also love the fact that Best Sunshine is helping the community. I’m really grateful to be working for Best Sunshine because I’m able to give back, and see people appreciate what we do. Whenever I see someone smiling at our efforts, it makes me smile. Best Sunshine has given self-driven individuals a chance to work with its community projects and also a chance to showcase my music, meet new and great people and build a family bond.”

Blossoming and taking charge

Another young member of BSI’s Corporate Social Responsibility team is 20-year-old representative Julia “Jia” Kapileo.

Hers is a story about making a choice.

“I finally and thankfully broke out of my shell when I started working for the CSR department of Best Sunshine. I was always shy and I was never this outgoing and expressive. Although it might not be considered a huge change for most people, I blossomed into a new confident person and discovered that finally being comfortable with speaking my mind is one of my biggest accomplishments,” explained Kapileo. “Now that I’ve done community work and gotten to know so many people, I have gained the self-reliance and determination I didn’t have before; it’s easier for me to be myself.”

Kapileo started at BSI on November 2015 as her first job, after making the difficult choice of setting school aside for a while. She is glad she made the decision because she is now one of the breadwinners of her household of three siblings, her parents, and herself.

“I’m proud to say that I’m now one of the providers for my family. Even if my family doesn’t want me to and hesitant about giving me that responsibility, I personally took the initiative to work hard because I feel that I owe it to them. I want to take charge,” explains Kapileo.

Naturally endowed with the passion of giving back to the people she deeply cares about—her community, Kapileo enjoys her work and is determined to contribute to the future wellbeing of the islands. From getting her hands dirty to just simply spreading the message of keeping the environment clean, Kapileo lives for it.

“As a community outreach group, CSR make a lot of significant improvements around the island and we try to give back as much as we can,” she said. “I really appreciate Best Sunshine having a CSR department because it is a reflection of a big company showing that they’re not only thinking about themselves, but they’re also thinking about the community. This job not only allows me to give back to my family, but also to the community as a whole,” she acknowledged.

“I’d like to thank BSI for providing me this experience and for helping me break out of my shell. I am definitely glad to be given this opportunity, and I am proud to be a part of this dynamic team.”

‘Dorea Don’t Worry’

Being a mother and at the same time working as a CSR team member is a tough juggling work for Dorea Ann Camacho. While it sounds like a lot to handle, what it actually meant for her is working for BSI gives her assurance that her kids are well taken cared of.

She is goal-oriented and has the right mindset to tackle whatever task is laid before her. Her nickname at work is “Dorea-Don’t-Worry,” and with good reason; that’s because her personal work philosophy is “it is what it is, just go with the flow.” Camacho truly believes in living a well-balanced life.

Camacho’s worry-free mindset can also be attributed to her passion for her job.

“I love the job that we do because it involves giving back to the community, and it’s a job I’m very proud to do,” said Camacho. “When we worked on Village Pride in Tanapag, it was especially rewarding for me because I was giving back to my village.”

When asked about her accomplishments, Camacho shares that being strong and successful for her kids is one of her greatest accomplishments.

“I have a good job and my kids are well taken care of. I was also able to buy a car for my family,” states Camacho. “I’m just very happy and very proud of who I am right now. With everything I’ve been through in the past, I can say that right now, I’m at my highest point. I want to go even higher, and I’m getting there.”

For her, the biggest impact in her life brought about by being employed at Best Sunshine is it has helped her considerably become successful.

“My family is very proud of what I do and what BSI has done for the community so far,” explains Camacho. “Over the weekend I was with my family, and they were saying that they are very proud of me. Just hearing my family say that feels so good.”

Another aspect of being a CSR representative that Camacho appreciates are the relationships she has developed with the people she works with. She has made connections with everybody in the team but particularly became really good friends with Frances Tudela, also a CSR representative, while working for the company.

“I didn’t know Frances until we both on-boarded with Best Sunshine, and afterwards we became really close. Interestingly, I even found out she’s my auntie,” Camacho stated.

“Thank you to Best Sunshine for the opportunity to grow and to give back to the community. I truly appreciate being a part of this company and I wish it all the best.”

The outdoor office

Truly the class clown among his coworkers, 18-year-old CSR representative Gregorio Sablan shares his story about not only being able to expand his skills in the work field, but also, be a part of the beautification process in the CNMI. A recent graduate from Mount Carmel School in 2015, Sablan has been working at BSI since December of last year.

When asked about his current impression of the company, Sablan stated, “So far, so good. I expected a completely different objective of what I’d be doing in the company, but eventually it actually worked out in my favor.”

Working with BSI involves a lot of outdoor work, which is convenient for Gregorio who would prefer working outdoors instead of in an office.

Active in the field of athletic sports, it’s no surprise that Sablan prefers working in the open air. Some of his past accomplishments include playing soccer internationally in Thailand and the Philippines. While in the Philippines, he learned a little bit of the language and was even invited to attend school there. Over time, he hopes to attend college in Maine to pursue a degree in criminal justice and be reunited with his mom who relocated there to run her own business.

Working at Best Sunshine has provided Sablan with an opportunity to give back to the community, and he has acquired an abundance of new skills along the way.

“I learned so many new skills that will be applicable in practical ways. I didn’t know how to put up fences or how to bush cut,” explained Sablan. “I taught myself by just picking it up and doing it. I learned a lot of things that would be useful and applicable here in the islands.”

Best Sunshine has also helped Sablan establish his interpersonal skills, which is evident in the close working relationship he has amongst his coworkers.

Sablan stated “I would say that one of the perks of working at Best Sunshine is the camaraderie and cooperation with coworkers and the people around me because I’ve never had a job where we’re like a close-knit family. I’ve never actually been this close to the people I work with and it’s a great thing to have this supportive team to work alongside with.”

Sablan adds, “I really want to say thank you to Best Sunshine for giving me the opportunity to give back to my community and helping me create and develop stronger interpersonal skills ties with my coworkers.”

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