ABOVE: Girls Inc. Program Director Emilee Roberts interacts with Harli Geyman and Josie Boyd just before their lunchtime at the center on Friday. BELOW: Girls Inc. Executive Director Susan Stahl, left, and Roberts share a laugh during their workday. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
ABOVE: Girls Inc. Program Director Emilee Roberts interacts with Harli Geyman and Josie Boyd just before their lunchtime at the center on Friday. BELOW: Girls Inc. Executive Director Susan Stahl, left, and Roberts share a laugh during their workday. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
One recent Hanover College graduate hopes to use her three focuses in college to help mentor and guide local girls to be "strong, smart and bold."

Emilee Roberts joined Girls Inc. of Jefferson County as the organization's new program director about a month ago. She will be in charge of coordinating activities, programs, field trips and other special events for members.

But the job also will allow her to combine her various interests on a daily basis.

The Terre Haute native majored in psychology, and was also a business and studio art scholar during her time at Hanover. She also helped out at the college's daycare center.

"I've worked with kids a lot," Roberts said. "I love kids."

As graduation neared in May, Roberts began looking at different job opportunities that would fit with her interests. She hadn't really thought about where she wanted to live after college, instead she wanted find a place to work that she would enjoy every day.

Little did she realize, that workplace would be just miles down the road from her alma mater.

A suggestion from an advisor through the business scholars program led her to look into the program coordinator opening at Girls Inc. in downtown Madison.

Although Roberts had volunteered with area mentor programs during colleges, she hadn't volunteered with Girls Inc. before. She felt like the organization could be a good fit after a little research into the organization's programs.

"I don't think I could do a desk job," she said, and being the program coordinator will keep her busy. "There's no one day that's the same."

She also has the chance to use her degree in psychology when working with the girls. Roberts' prior coursework helps her to understand the girls' different personalities and how people get along with others.

The business scholars program helps her when interacting with parents and responding to their concerns or questions.

Her background in studio art comes in handy when working on projects with the girls during arts and crafts or other creative projects.

"I think it all ties in very well," she said.

Even though a lot of prior experiences have helped Roberts adjust to her new post, she's still working to figure out more about the organization ­- and life after college.

"Being a grown-up is just very different," she said, but the college prepared her for that.

Her co-workers and volunteers at the center have helped and supported her when needed, but also allow her to learn on her own as well.

And although Roberts lived in the area as a college student, the downtown area where she lives now proves to be a new adventure.

"There's so much of downtown Madison I didn't even know about," she said.

While Roberts continues to learn and grow, she hopes to be able to pass on some of the wisdom that has helped her over the years.

"My mom has always taught me to be the best I can be," Roberts said.

As the program director and mentor, that's another idea she hopes to pass on to the young members of local Girls Inc. program.