Meet NHF's Education Specialist, Sonia Roger! As one of NHF's most tenured employees, Sonia is a vital part of the NHF community and loves giving back to families and patients. Learn more about her role at NHF!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at NHF.
My name is Sonia Roger. One of my roles is working with other members of my team on the Bleeding Disorders Conference, a wonderful program called Travel Grants, and the name is Connections for Learning. This program is for families to attend NHF's Bleeding Disorder Conference, which we have every year. The other thing that I work with is Education for Empowerment. We work with Chapters and their requests for workshops for their event. My title is Education Specialist.
How long have you been a part of our team?
As the most senior member [on staff], I have been with NHF for 30 years.
What drew you to this type of work?
When I started at NHF, I did not know anything about hemophilia or any other types of bleeding disorders. I started out in HANDI, and I went over to the education department where I learned about bleeding disorders and the community. I work with volunteers from various working groups. After working along the working groups, I learned what work they were going to, and I built friendships with them. Many friendships were built in that time.
There was also a time when the education department managed the Chapters, and I was one of three staff that worked closely with Chapters. That's how some of our friendships also grew, and there are some Chapters right now that are still working that I have known for many, many, many years.
What is one highlight from your time here?
As I mentioned earlier, I work in a travel grant program. A couple of years ago, a family received a travel grant to attend NHF's Bleeding Disorders Conference.
I met the families, and I met the kids, all of them because we have meetings for the kids as well. So, I met one particular family and was surprised to see that the family came back the next year on their own! I kept what they said, and this is why I think I like what I do.
When I saw that family, I was like "Oh my God, you're here, you're back!" And they said, "Yeah, we're back!" One of the parents said to me, "the kids loved the conference the year before. They made friends!" And when they went home, the kids wanted to come back. The kids said to their parents, "Let's do this. Let's not buy too many toys at Christmas time. Let's buy less toys and save some money to come back to NHF." And that's what they did!
When they told me that, I was like, "Wow, that is something." That is why I'm still at NHF. I think it's because I love the families. I love the community and the connections and working in the bleeding disorder community is what it is all about.
Watch Sonia's Q&A video below. To learn more about joining the NHF team, visit our careers page.