Meet the team: Prisilla

November 14, 2023

Please help us welcome Prisilla McSwain as Habitat for Humanity of Oregon’s first-ever Compliance Manager. In this role, Prisilla will help our new and existing affordable homeownership programs thrive. This position will ensure the integrity of our new critical home repair programs and significantly expanded down payment assistance programs. As the Compliance Manager, Prisilla will also help Habitat Oregon steward new resources to implement a matched savings program for low- to moderate-income Oregonians, working in collaboration with local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

Welcome, Prisilla!

Tell us a little about yourself:

Prisilla McSwain (she/her/ella) grew up at the beach in Southern California. Her interest and affinity for foreign languages started in high school, which led her to double major in French and German in college. Prisilla worked towards a master’s degree in German Studies from California State University Long Beach and was given the opportunity to attend teacher training seminars in Heidelberg, Germany through a scholarship funded through the German Academic Exchange Service. Prisilla moved to Eugene in the fall of 2016 to pursue a PhD and has enjoyed living there very much. She was able to travel abroad again for the Spring 2019 term and conduct doctoral research in Weimar, Germany.

After several years of PhD coursework, Prisilla felt called to pursue a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon and graduated with that certificate in March of 2021.Before starting at Habitat Oregon, she was employed as a family navigator at Willamette High School in Eugene, where she provided underserved students and families access to resources. She worked closely with the nonprofit 15th Night and the district McKinney-Vento liaison to ensure that unhoused youth and families were informed about their educational rights and resources available to them.

What is your favorite to see or do in Oregon?

I enjoy travelling to different cities around Oregon with my family, especially Bend and Corvallis. One of our favorite places to visit is the Historic Carousel & Museum in Albany and ride on the carousel. All the animals on the carousel are hand-crafted and each one has their own story. We love seeing their creativity and the colors that fill the room are so vibrant and welcoming. We also enjoy visiting our local hiking spots like the Thurston Hills Natural Area and Clearwater Park just to be in nature and breathe in some fresh air.

What is a recent book, podcast or movie/TV show that you would recommend to others?

I recently started watching “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” with my husband. It is a fun show that brings back old Star Trek characters with new stories, character developments and personality twists. Every episode is different and highly entertaining. My favorite character so far is Lieutenant Erica Ortegas, the pilot of the Starship Enterprise.

What does home mean to you?

It may sound cliché, but home is wherever my family is — whether that is spending a night in at home watching a movie or out running errands. We hope that we will be able to become homeowners in the near future. Even though home is not synonymous with a physical house, we look forward to investing in our family’s well-being by having a place to call our own and host friends and family in a cozy and joyful house.

What are you looking forward to most about this position?

I am excited to join the Habitat for Humanity of Oregon team! They are a dedicated team of individuals who are passionate about serving the Oregon community. I am looking forward to working with affiliates on the Healthy Homes Program that is made possible through a grant that was recently awarded to Habitat Oregon. I want to expand my knowledge and experience in the nonprofit field and Habitat Oregon is the perfect place to do so!

Compliance is not something that most people regard as fun, but it is something that I thoroughly enjoy. Working on compliance reminds me of the research I performed in grad school where I would read primary and secondary texts and drew conclusions on all the evidence provided. Compliance keeps people safe and thriving and allows for our work to remain above board.