Staff Spotlight: Jo Robbins

Jennifer Pinske
October 30, 2023 / 3 mins read

Jo has been with FSR for almost 3 years and is a FATHER Project Case Manager. Jo assists fathers with overcoming barriers so they may increase the emotional and financial supports of their children. She sees herself as a part of a bridge they create together, to assist with resources and their connections to the community.

Jo has respect for each of the fathers who come to the program and is honored when they choose her to share their stories, accomplishments and struggles with. Jo strongly supports fatherhood rights and wants all communities to know, fathers can parent their children and be a staple in their communities. Jo loves that FSR supports the mission of supporting whole family systems.

When asked what her greatest accomplishment has been in her 3 years at FSR she said she said that she recently made a movie suggestion to the FSR Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Team to show the film, “Blood Memory-A Story of Removal and Return”. Jo is an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the child of a boarding school survivor, Jo was asked by the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team to speak after the showing to share some of her own experiences.

Jo overcame many self-created obstacles so that she could share her own personal experiences and family’s history in regard to her mother & her siblings attending (indigenous) boarding schools. Jo was able to share about her maternal grandfather who was told that he couldn’t parent his children as a single father when his wife passed away, that the best option he was given by the state was to place his children in foster care, after they had already spent time away at the boarding schools.

Jo said her family's history is the reason why she began to work for fathers in our community and continue to assist them with overcoming the traumas and barriers that may get in the way of them being the parents they want to be. Jo states “I feel my mother, father and grandparents would be very proud of what I do”. And we would agree, as we are proud of the work Jo does for FSR and the Fathers and families in our community!

Jo enjoys spending time with her 2 daughters, her friends and family. She recently became an even bigger hockey fan because her youngest daughter plays, here in Rochester. She also loves caring for her desk plants (which are somehow still alive) and enjoys meeting new people through work or through community events.

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