Freethought Today · November 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Ship it! FFRF office assistant handles various support tasks

Name: Monica Schwartz

Where and when I was born: I was born in Beloit, Wis., in the early '90s.

Education: I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in community and nonprofit leadership and an entrepreneurship certificate.

Family: With my mother, father and sister, I grew up in what I consider to be the most supportive and communicative family I know.

How I came to work at FFRF: I wanted to build my nonprofit acumen by working for a national nonprofit whose mission aligned with mine. I feel lucky to have found that at FFRF.

What I do here: I am the office assistant at FFRF, meaning I pick up the support tasks that help the office stay focused and diligent. Bought anything from the FFRF store? I probably shipped it to you! Received a new-member packet? I may have stuffed it for you! Whatever helps the overarching goal of keeping state and church separate.

What I like best about it: I get to work with incredibly intelligent and passionate people where there's endless coffee and witty banter.

What gets old about it: Remember the aforementioned shipping and stuffing? That has resulted in quite a few paper cuts, although I'm learning how to avoid them.

I spend a lot of time thinking about: What it means to be an atheist and how to label my own religious identity.

I spend little if any time thinking about: Whether the Constitution is worth working to uphold. It is.

My religious upbringing was: I was baptized Catholic, but when my mother refused to raise her daughters in a church that didn't allow women to lead the congregation, I was confirmed in a Methodist church.

My doubts about religion started: One of my earliest memories is of walking up the stairs in my childhood home during the Christmas season wearing my puffy red jacket and thinking, "Jesus . . . God . . . that can't ACTUALLY be real, right?"

Things I like: I like community. I get the biggest thrill when I know I've been a part of something that brought people together. As a loyal Wisconsinite, I also really like cheese.

Things I smite: Close-mindedness, racial and economic disparities, injustice — the usual.

In my golden years: Whenever I'm lucky enough to hit my "golden years," I hope I will feel as though I've done enough — as though I've positively impacted lives. Maybe I will reflect on that on a warm beach somewhere . . .

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