Fast 15: Amy Benincosa

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 287 views 

While education is Amy Benincosa’s passion, her role as a fundraiser for the National Child Protection Training Center isn’t that far off the mark.

The center offers educational programs for current and future child protection professionals from 16 states in the national organization’s Southern region. The $3 million philanthropic campaign Benincosa facilitates will pay for renovating the former Highland Oncology Group building next to the NWACC campus into a homelike laboratory training space.

“It’s essentially revolutionizing the way we train child abuse professionals,” she said, “so it’s an honor to be working on this project.”

A career highlight so far is seeing the NCPTC reach nearly 90 percent of its goal, Benincosa said.

“We’re in the home stretch,” she said.

After earning a bachelor’s in education from Missouri State University at Springfield in 2010, Benincosa worked as a substitute English teacher for about a year in a Missouri high school. She then worked in NWACC’s Academic Advising Center for about four months until the training center opened in September 2011.

Benincosa credits NWACC colleagues Meredith Brunen and Wyley Elliott with helping her transition into her new role.

“I came into this not knowing anything about fundraising, just with a passion for the project, so they really showed me the ropes,” she said.

They also gave her the confidence to go out and share her passion for the project with others, speaking to large civic, philanthropic and community groups.

Benincosa is continuing her own education full time at the University of Arkansas, and expects to receive her master’s in higher education in May 2014.

She still finds time to volunteer as a member of the SoNA Singers, the by-audition-only choral ensemble that performs with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.

As for what she’ll do with her master’s degree, Benincosa is open to the possibilities.

“I know that because of my passion, I always want to work in education in some capacity,” she said. “So I can really see myself continuing here with NWACC, in whatever form that takes. I just want to keep moving forward.”