On the Job: Bria Taylor


Bria Taylor’s life and career may have taken her to the opposite side of the country, but the foundation she needed to get there was created in Genesee County. Taylor is a 2014 graduate of Carmen-Ainsworth High School, where she participated in TeenQuest, a pre-employment training program through Flint & Genesee Education & Talent. After graduating from TeenQuest, Taylor also participated in Summer Youth Initiative (SYI), a summer employment program through the same organization.  

During her time in SYI, Taylor worked at Genesee County Community Action Resource Department (GCCARD) in 2010, at Catholic Charities in 2011, and at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint from 2012 – 2014. Of the three SYI jobs, it was her time working with young people at the Boys & Girls Club that inspired her career path.  

“I never would have expected to be where I am now. Where I am and where I come from, I am very blessed to be here,” Taylor said. “Taking TeenQuest has helped me in interviews I have had since 2010. TeenQuest prepared me for the real world.” 

Taylor moved to Texas after high school where she attended Texas Southern University. There she got her Bachelor of Arts in communications and journalism in 2018. What she found though is that her path outside of college wasn’t as fulfilling as she had hoped.  

“I was a manager at a shoe store when COVID came around and I didn’t have a passion for shoes anymore. So, I filed for unemployment and during that time I just tried to figure out what I wanted to do,” Taylor said. “I decided to apply to a school district out here as an assistant teacher. I wanted to get my feet wet. On the first day of school, the teacher didn’t come in and I was thrown in and I just elevated from there.” 

It was her time in TeenQuest that helped guide her in her new career as a teacher.  

 ”All the initiatives they teach you while you’re in TeenQuest you apply it to real life,” she said. “When you grow up you notice how much of a team player you may need to be, how you need to be a listener, punctual, and adaptable. TeenQuest taught me no matter where you are, to be yourself and adapt to the environment.” 

What skills did you use from TeenQuest when interviewing for your current position? 

They asked me what my strengths were, and I told them I caught on very quickly. It didn’t matter what area they needed me to be in, or what subject, I got the groundwork done already, and I knew how to manage a classroom just from experience through TeenQuest and being around kids.  

What advice can you offer current and former TeenQuest students? 

Be open and be well-rounded. You never know when you might want or need someone’s help and they might be the one right next to you that you need later in life. Be open. Be fair. Be yourself. Stand on business. 

What is your proudest moment since graduating from TeenQuest? 

Graduating from college. I knew I’d go to college, but I didn’t know I’d leave Flint at 17 and come out to Houston by myself and stay.