BOOST turns 15 – celebrate with us!
As we near our 15-year anniversary, we are reminded of how much we value and appreciate our TEAMBOOST partners and want you to meet them. Learn more about our team members and their journeys through the in and out-of-school time field, their goals and aspirations, a few fun things about them, and some of the amazing things they are doing in their communities.
We will be featuring our BOOST Bloggers, Ambassadors, Leadership Team members, and Partners weekly through the end of the year to thank our wonderful team members for their contributions to our incredible community!
Meet BOOST Ambassador Rachel Bryant
Rachel is the Regional Youth Program Manager at Brightpoint JAG in Fort Wayne, IN. She has been a BOOST Ambassador with us since 2021!
How did you enter the OST, expanded learning, and/or educational field?
I was a non-traditional student working in a middle school cafeteria. Once I graduated I knew I wanted to continue to work around youth. I began my career in this field in 2004 and have stuck with it ever since.
What motivates you to do this work?
I love being able to expose kids to things they would not be able to see or do without being a part of our program. Opening their eyes to opportunities and experiences they may not have thought possible before is my motivation.
What are you currently reading or watching?
“Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table” by Louie Giglio
Share some of your greatest accomplishments.
Personally, I will say graduating college. As I stated, I was a non-traditional student. I was a single mother and worked full-time and went to school part-time. So it took me 10 years to complete my Bachelor’s program. Being able to provide a better life for my kids was worth it. Professionally I will say when I took over the JAG program in my region it had not met performance goals for several years. Within the first year of taking over the program, we turned that around and had 5/9 programs meet performance and the following year we had all 9 programs meet performance. We also expanded and grew to 15 programs.
What are some big goals you are working toward?
Personally, I have just started my own small baking business called Suga Raee. I hope to grow it over the next couple of years. Professionally as of July 2022, I have added an OSY program called Focus Forward where we assist 16-24 years olds attain their HSE, employment and/or short-term certifications. So I am excited to build this program and help more youth.
What are your top three leadership qualities?
Servant Leadership, Communication, and Critical Thinking.
Name a leader that you admire and why?
Michelle Obama. In the midst of adversity, she responded with such grace and poise. She allows herself to be vulnerable and through her transparency makes she is relatable to everyone.
Share an inspirational quote that resonates with you.
“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” Esther 4:14
As a child, what were your career aspirations?
Fashion Designer. I quickly learned I could not draw… lol
What causes are you passionate about?
Domestic Violence and Suicide Awareness.
What is one of the highlights of your career?
Being nominated as the Manager of the Year for our State. It meant so much because I had a really rough year professionally.
How do you show kindness to others and/or share ways others have shown kindness to you?
I love sending a baked goodie to someone who may just need a pick me up or just because. Sending a meal to someone who is going through a crisis because we often don’t think to eat during that time. I am a very empathetic person. So letting people know I see them in the midst of their circumstances whether good or bad and offer my assistance to them in any way they may need it.
What career legacy do you want to leave?
I want to leave people better than they came.
What’s the biggest mistake you made on the job and what did you learn from it?
Expecting me from others. Everyone comes with their own experiences both personally and professionally and those experience mold who we are. I have learned to appreciate the uniqueness that everyone brings and that my way is not the only way nor the best way always.
Tell us what you had for breakfast!
Nature Valley Almond Bar
From all of us here at TEAMBOOST, thank you, Rachel, for being part of the BOOST Ambassador team and for sharing your story with us!