Briana Scott is driven to work with area youth. Scott is a 2019 graduate of Genesee Early College (GEC) and learned about TeenQuest in 2015 through a friend who was enrolled in the program. Naturally shy, Scott’s self-confidence grew during her time with TeenQuest and she came out of her shell. The program helped build her social skills and set her on a path toward becoming a working professional.
TeenQuest equipped her with the skills to stand out in an interview and the confidence to pursue opportunities that presented themselves.
“I remember my facilitators – I had Mr. Hatcher and I had Miss Betty, and one thing that she told me that I’ll never forget was when we introduce ourselves, you always say – my name is – and she didn’t like that,” says Scott. “She said, ‘When you introduce yourself say – I am – with confidence.’ So, whenever I introduce myself, I never say my name is Briana, I will always say I AM Briana. That’s one that has always stuck with me.”
After completing high school, Scott transitioned to college and began taking courses at the University of Michigan-Flint. She learned about Flint Promise during her first semester of college as she was coming to terms with the fact that she’d have to take out loans to pay for her school.
She was already two years into her program thanks to her time in GEC and the loans were the only way she could afford to complete her schooling. However, her plan changed when she learned about Fint Promise. Suddenly her tuition and fees were covered, and the stress of school loans was out of her mind. Along with the financial help she got from Flint Promise, she also gained a support system to help guide her through stressful times. With school paid for, she could now focus on school and not accruing debt.
In her time at the University of Michigan-Flint, Scott received a degree in molecular biology with an eye toward medical school. Scott considered immediately pursuing her next educational milestone but found that she wasn’t ready for medical school yet and decided to pursue her passion for working with young people instead.
Scott joined the Flint & Genesee Education & Talent team in the fall of 2023 as an education and talent assistant. There she works with students who are enrolled in TeenQuest and the Summer Youth Initiative – the same programs she was a part of. In her new position, she’s been able to work with students across the county and has found that, while how they learn may be different to how she did, they still need the same support and encouragement to put their best selves forward.
“It’s amazing to see the transformation from day one until graduation,” says Scott. “It’s like a confidence boost, it’s how they walk, and how they speak about themselves.”
It’s in helping young people as they struggle with the stresses of school life and the transition toward adulthood that Scott has found she can support young people the most. In her spare time, Scott runs a church program for young women that builds their confidence and faith. Her work with the Flint & Genesee Education & Talent team is another opportunity to do the same work on a larger scale and keeps her doing what she loves most – working with young people.
What advice can you offer current and former students of TeenQuest/Summer Youth?
I would say to never forget the things that you learn. Just because you learn it in one setting does not mean that you can only use it in that capacity. All that information is transferable, whether it’s college, a school, or a trade. Don’t forget to use those skills because you can always build upon them later on in life.
How important do you think the education programs were in guiding you to your current position?
I would say it is very important because just going through it teaches you accountability and discipline to be somewhere on time when you say you’re going to be there. So, it builds up that habit of being punctual and consistent in a program. That can be reflected in school, and in work, it just always gives you that base standard. Whatever I start, I’m going to finish.
What are your future goals?
As of right now, I put a pause on med school because it really weighed me down for a minute, so I am just here investing in youth, and I really enjoy being with the youth so I think that’s somewhere where my future lies. Whether it’s motivational speaking or something.