Today we’d like to introduce you to Briana Crowe.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Briana. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I got my start working with teen through my college job at University of North Texas Multicultural Center. Growing up I always wanted to work with kids so I thought that meant being a teacher. As I continued in college and working at the center, I realized teaching kids wasn’t necessarily what I was interested in, but more so helping shape the lives of teenagers/young adults. After graduating, I moved to Arkansas to work at a residential high school where I was the Residential Mentor for the girl attendees and eventually moved up to be the Community Developer focusing on residential learning curriculum and student activities for the whole campus. It was through working here I found my passion for mentoring specifically teen girls through crisis, schooling, and life. I am so thankful for that job because it really helped me find my purpose both professionally and personally. I have a really close friend that worked with me both at the Multicultural Center and residential high school, and she started working at this organization called Step Up as an after-school program facilitator, but at their Dallas chapter. She told me about the openings they had in Los Angeles because she knew I was moving to here to pursue my comedy career. I was so excited because although I am pursuing comedy, mentoring young girls is still a really big passion. I applied with a quickness because to be able to do things I love both 9-5 and 5-9, lol, that’s a dream come true! Eight months ago it all happen and changed rapidly, I got the job, moved to California, and I’ve now had the opportunity to mentor so many beautiful teen girls in the South Central and East LA area! Shameless plug, if you want to support my comedy journey be sure to follow me on all social media @brianayoulove and catch me at some open mics in LA putting in work, my time is coming! I am beyond thankful for Step Up because it allows me the opportunity to hone my comedic skills and network!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Absolutely not lol, but honestly I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I have loved my journey because it allowed me to meet so many amazing people. They have impacted my life, and I can only hope I had the same impact on them. Through the years I have watched so many young people grow and come into their own. I struggle constantly with not feeling like I am enough, or am I being a “good” role model, like is there a such thing as too transparent lol. I just want the students to be their best self, and sometimes it can be hard to connect and meet them where they are. Patience is truly a virtue when it comes to working with teens. The biggest struggle I have experienced is having to deal with not being able to be there for a student, to help them push through and gain from their pain. It hurts losing a student, and I hate that they left. It was rough consoling students who are trying to wrap their heads around what has happened but also trying to figure out my feelings in the mist. I am so thankful I at least got to know those students even if it was only for a short period, they changed my life and helped me grow as both a person and mentor.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Step Up story. Tell us more about the organization.
Step Up is an organization geared toward the empowerment of women. We connect ladies in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, ad New York to build professional relationships. Our biggest and proudest part of the organization is our After School Program for 9th-12th teens who identify with girlhood. I work as a 9th and 10th-grade teen programs facilitator on the Los Angeles team. In LA we partner with 8 of the Alliance College-Ready High Schools to provide the teens the opportunity to join our after-school program, where we use a curriculum that focuses on confidence, college readiness, and career exploration. Through our after-school program, conferences, pathways to professions field trips, and monthly Young Luminaire events for seniors of the program we allow our teens the opportunity to experience group-mentoring. That means they have the chance to be poured into, by not only one woman, but multiple women in our network who are killing the game!
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I believe that Los Angeles is a great place to have this type of program, but honestly ANYWHERE is a great place. We have to give back in our communities, and uplift where we can, so every place deserves that chance. LA is a great place to start if you are willing to get out and network, make your organization, and movement known. Support is a big factor, so being able to find like-minded people who are willing to stand behind you and your vision is key.
- Insider Member for $75; supplies for three freshmen girls working to build their confidence through 30 weeks of after-school programs.
- Icon Member for $250; eight sessions of after-school programs for a sophomore who is learning to use her voice to create community change.
- Visionary Member for $500; one semester of programming for a junior who is beginning to explore careers through corporate field trips and group mentoring.
- Luminary Circle Member for $1000; one year of programming for a senior who is preparing for her first internship and who will be the first in her family to attend college.
- Investor Member for $2500; ensures Step Up juniors have the chance to make six field trips to visit their first corporate offices via the national Pathways to Professions field trip program.
- Partner Member $5000; enables 10 girls to attend a Step Up Connections Conference, which pairs teens and mentors to focus on early college and career awareness.
- Sustainer Member $10,000; 10 weeks of national after-school programs at one school, focusing on self-expression for sophomores and culminating in a year-end community showcase.
- Address: 510 South Hewitt Street #111
Los Angeles, CA 90013
- Website: https://www.suwn.org/
- Phone: 201.468.0568
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stepupwomensnetwork/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stepupwomensnetwork/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/suwn