Celebrating Local Black Heroes: Beatrice Orns

Portrait of Beatrice Orns with text reading Celebrating Black Heroes Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan logo

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Meet Beatrice and hear her words of wisdom for young people (and less young people!)

Beatrice Orns of Battle Creek is an Organization, Development, and Learning Analyst with Bronson Healthcare Group. She is a pillar in Southwest Michigan for the ways she inspires those around her, and the example she sets.

Orns is constantly “finding new opportunities for learning, growing, and helping.” She was part of the Bigs in Business program at Bronson Battle Creek which is now known as Battle Creek Bigs in Business. This business partnership program connects Battle Creek professionals with mentees who we call “Littles” through Battle Creek Central High School Career Academies. Through this program’s predecessor, Orns has mentored 5 different Littles over the years! Learn more about Bigs in Business here.

A PILLAR IN THE COMMUNITY

Among many things, Orns volunteers as a tenured Sexual Assault Advocate with Sexual Assault Services. This local organization of advocates offer gentle, sensitive support to those impacted by sexual violence. Orns cherishes her work with this organization. “Rarely do I get to see people in such a stressful and painful way. This has shaped me differently by meeting survivors on their worst day.”

When she’s not mentoring, spending time with her family, or listening to others’ stories, Orns can be found serving on the Battle Creek Community Foundation’s Grant Making Committee.

Orns speaks highly of the work she does within her church and the mentorship she has found from her Pastor. “If you live your life in one way, it shows up in every way,” she recites. She goes on to speak to the involvement and connection she has with United Way, Battle Creek Community Foundation, Urban League, and Juneteenth.

“BE BETTER THAN YOUR LAST TIME, YOUR LAST DAY”

When Orns shares who inspires and has mentored her, she paints a picture of growing up with her mother. Orns’ mother is her greatest inspiration. She hopes the lessons her mother taught her will resonate for her daughters as much as they did for her.

“My mother inspired me to be better than the last day or the last time. Whatever that looks like; be better than the last day or the last time.”

Orns also once had a teacher, Mrs. Leech, who deeply inspired Orns to action. “To this day, I remember how inspiring and how much she made English (as a subject) come alive. And made me want to be a part of whatever that meant, and be the best at it however I could.” The fire ignited by Mrs. Leech, is what helped to ignite potential in Orns, and mold her into the person she is today.

Orns lives in excitement for what will come next in her life. The stories she has heard, the lives she has touched, and her mentors’ inspiration will continue to lead her.

ROOTED IN LEARNING, GROWING, TAKING RISKS

Through Bigs in Business, raising her daughters, and meeting people on their worst day, Orns hopes to share the wisdom she has come into with youth. She speaks to failure and using it as a catalyst, while remaining rooted in learning, growing, and ultimately taking risks. Orns strives every day to be a better listener – listening through the lens of a changing world. She wants to share the story of what’s happening now, becoming a friend and ally to those around her.

SEEK YOUR VERSION OF GREAT

Speaking to the experiences Orns has had over the years, she shows us how they have shaped her into the person she is today. “Take that and blend it with everything else, it creates such a unique dynamic that has helped me be my version of great.”

A woman of compassion, Orns encourages finding new opportunities for learning and growing to help you step into your own. She urges you to find your own version of great and keep working towards that. She shares how she looks at the bigger picture of life, specifically the legacy she will leave not only her daughters, but the community she has already so deeply touched.

Orns hopes to continue growing with the community, so one day when she transitions from this life – the legacy she leaves behind are her lessons, stories, and experiences to be passed along and shared.

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