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VTO Spotlight: Evan Benedict uses VTO to share his Jiu Jitsu knowledge

When Ascendium employees volunteer, they contribute to Ascendium’s mission of championing opportunity for everyone and improving the lives of others in their own backyard. Evan Benedict, a business system administrator at Ascendium, uses volunteer time off (VTO) and Beyond VTO to share his Jiu Jitsu knowledge by volunteering as an instructor at a nonprofit martial arts school in Wisconsin. Evan usually teaches two classes in the evening, but with VTO he is able to host an additional class in the afternoon. In total, he has hosted eight one-hour sessions teaching the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu to teens and adults in 2021 using his VTO.

The primary goal for this martial arts school is to support veterans by providing them with free, high quality Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instruction as a way to work with their physical and mental limitations and create a community. However, a variety of classes are offered to people of all ages to reach their training, competitive or self-defense goals.

Evan got his start as a Jiu Jitsu instructor when he met the head coach and founder of the martial arts school during an open mat event, where Jiu Jitsu practitioners can train and practice new skills. Evan first helped out and then slowly started teaching some classes. With sixteen years of combined experience of wrestling and Jiu Jitsu, the transition from trainee to trainer went smoothly. Since starting teaching, he’s learned, “You can’t teach from your perspective. You have to step back, think about what the person you’re teaching needs to know and go back to your roots. I may have to re-learn things, but it actually helps me improve my own Jiu Jitsu and teach better.”

By becoming a volunteer instructor, Evan has been able to meet new people, gain new experiences and help others reach their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu goals. He enjoys donating his time to teach Jiu Jitsu and would love to continue as long as he is able.