29, Youth Program Coordinator for Hampton Roads Workforce Council, Norfolk
Business community involvement:
LEAD Hampton Roads Class of 2019, Hampton Roads Workforce Council Morale Committee, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, American Society for Public Administration—Hampton Roads Chapter, tHRive Regional Engagement Committee
Greenwood/Elmhurst/Norview Heights (GENH) Civic League, Alzheimer’s Association, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, American Cancer Society—Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Kam Cares Foundation
Something that sets you apart from the crowd?
My ability to balance compassion, good humor and rapport with professionalism. My effective communication skills and great attention to detail allow me to ensure that everyone is kept in the loop and updated. I am also unafraid to implement change when necessary. I think there is a prevailing practice of doing things in a certain way based on the argument “that’s the way it’s always been done.” I think that there are times when this impedes the development and continuous improvement of an organization, and I am always willing to research and implement new and improved methods for enhancement.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of.
Professionally, I am most proud of being selected to present my contract management approach at conferences where I have had the opportunity to share my techniques with my peers across the nation. Academically, I am most proud of successfully completing my first year in graduate school while remaining dedicated to my work, home and community.
What’s a challenge you’ve had to overcome to find success?
When I began my career in workforce development, I think one of the main challenges I faced was my age. I was very “green” and had only been out of my undergraduate program for six months when I took on the role that was responsible for the training, oversight and compliance monitoring for the organization’s federally funded youth contractors throughout the region. There wasn’t a training manual in place, so I had to put in extra effort to learn, understand and translate the countless policies in order to become a credible resource for the contractors. Ultimately, this effort was worth it. For the past six years, our team has exceeded all performance measures, and the state monitoring results have improved exponentially each year.
Most important aspect you look for in a workplace?
I have an inherent love for life-long learning. When looking at a workplace, the most important aspect for me is the opportunity for continuous learning and professional development, as well as opportunities for growth.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
If I wasn’t in my current position, I hope that I would be still be in a position that enhances the lives of others in the Coastal Virginia community. Maybe one day I will find myself working at the state level, but for now, I am passionate about making the area I’ve called home my entire life a better place to live, work and play.
What new idea or development are you most excited about in Coastal Virginia right now?
I am very excited about the recent and upcoming improvements to the transportation systems throughout the region. These initiatives will help decrease congestion in the area, and I believe this will allow for additional collaboration between the cities and counties.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
Regionalism. I think that by working as one to pull all of our greatest assets and resources together, we can generate more positive changes for the region as a whole.
Favorite place in Coastal Virginia to go on the weekends?
I love the beach at Willoughby Spit. It’s not too crowded, and I love being able to take my 100-pound fur baby, Kimber Rae. We can get there in 10 minutes, and there aren’t many things better than sunshine, water and fetch!
From her nomination:
“Amanda’s guiding motto is Gandhi’s ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ She has demonstrated her commitment to this belief time and time again through her service to the community and the youth she serves.”
—Aubrey Thomas, LEAD Member