The badge was for her cousin Karine Aragão, who installs home theater products.
The two grew up as close as sisters and now work in the same market in Massachusetts. Brenda is the one who encouraged Karine, one of the only women installers in her market, to work at Best Buy.
The significance of seeing the Aragão name on another Geek Squad badge was almost too much for Brenda. She immediately contacted Karine’s manager to see if she could present it at the upcoming badge ceremony — a time-honored Geek Squad tradition.
“I’m very big on these ceremonies. I’m known as the hoarder of badges,” said Brenda, who drove an hour in traffic to present Karine with her badge. “Although all ceremonies are important to me, this one was a bit more than that.”
And, for Karine, it was a big surprise.
“Not many people can say they got to experience something like that, especially from a family member you’re close with,” Karine said.
More than symbolism
The badge itself is a cultural icon for Geek Squad Agents.
Getting a badge is a Geek Squad rite of passage, and it takes 18 months of employment to be eligible. The symbol of trust, strength and pride hearkens back to warriors “known by their shields” throughout history and signifies that those who wear it are part of something larger than themselves.
For Brenda and Karine, it’s more than symbolism. It reflects their own heritage.
“Our blood runs deep. The pride of our family name runs deep,” Brenda said. “Now, our pride of Geek Squad also runs deep.”
Part of carrying the Aragão name is a heritage of strong women, including a widowed grandmother who raised four kids.
The cousins are bringing that strength to their own roles as some of the only women on their teams — and they hope more women will see it and join their ranks.
“Women should not be discouraged when they want to apply for a different job because there could be a stereotype,” Karine said. “Especially if they want to work with their hands or like to hit the road and have a lot of freedom.”
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