29, Education Manager in Charge of Special Programs with Junior Achievement of Greater Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach
Business and Civic Involvement:
Old Dominion University Distinguished Alumni Award; Old Dominion University Communication Department Instructor; Tidewater Community College Theatre Department Costume Designer, Chesapeake Campus; LEAD Hampton Roads Class of 2020
What is something that makes you stand out professionally?
I take a Project Runway approach to all of my professional endeavors—“make it work, people.” I’m good at problem solving, learning new skills on the fly and communicating with anyone. I enjoy forming relationships and remembering the details that make individuals feel special.
Who or what keeps you motivated or inspires you?
Different people inspire me in different aspects of my life. Doing good work and being the best person I can be: my parents; getting things done and taking risks: my sister; making it work: my best friend; relishing the attention to detail and immersing myself in a production: my #theatrebesties; always learning and applying my degree: my JA and ODU families.
Tell us about an accomplishment that you’re proud of.
My costume design work with TCC for the last five years—looking back, I’ve really been able to see how much I’ve grown and honed my skills. We really do such good work for a small local theatre. I’m immensely proud of every production we’ve put on and look forward to those yet to come.
How do you feel your industry can best respond to the effects of COVID-19?
All three of my jobs are in education, and first off, our teachers and administrators are rock stars. Switching to online learning and creating new digital content are monumental undertakings, so patience on all sides is necessary. I’m fortunate that the three pillars of Junior Achievement (financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship) will never not be fundamental to our youth and that our organization is here and ready to help teachers, parents and students through this weird and unprecedented time. Each institution that I work for is doing a fantastic job responding to the current situation and taking students’ needs into account.
What new idea or development are you excited about in Coastal Virginia?
Our ever-expanding arts and culture scene is world class and so cool. From local theater, to our excellent museums and historical sites, the NEON and ViBe Districts, amazing local and international food and events like Something in The Water—we are so fortunate that this is all available to us!
What’s the most important aspect you look for in a workplace?
Communication! Being able to interact and connect with everyone, from the intern to the CEO, is so important—no one should be unapproachable because of their job title. You never know who’s going to have an incredible idea or be the person that you’ll be able to knock out a project with if you don’t stop and chat with them.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
Probably teaching college classes or working for another nonprofit. I really appreciate the vibe and flexibility that this world offers, plus, that’s where most of my friends are!
What’s your favorite spot to relax in Coastal Virginia?
I love downtown Norfolk so much—grabbing a bite at my local pub (shout-out to Grace O’Malley’s!), catching a show, exploring along the water, popping over to the NEON District and Colley Avenue—solid ways to spend a Saturday.