This summer, social worker, Melissa Bronstein, joined the staff of JBBBS, assuming a caseload of Big and Little Brothers and Sisters. We caught up with Bronstein to learn a little more about her professional path and her mentor.
Melissa, your Bachelor’s was in Gender and Sexuality Studies. What’s one thing about gender/sexuality that you wish more people understood?
I think a key point is about gender roles, this idea we have of how a man should act and how a woman should act. This socialization starts early and can be seen everywhere: think about pink and blue blankets when a child is born or the “girls” and “boys” aisles at a toy store. We tell children from an early age that certain toys, colors, and activities are for boys, and others are for girls. Take a look next time you’re at the store. So many more products are gendered than we tend to believe.
One book I’ve enjoyed recently is Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. It’s a compilation of short essays and columns, and I’ve recommended it to all my family and friends.
Who’s your mentor?
My mom, Wendy. My mom is a great role model, listener, and (occasionally un-solicited!) advice-giver. She successfully ran a large physical therapy practice while raising a family, and has shown me what it means to be a smart, successful, and caring person. I’m lucky to have her.