It Looks Like Me: Brianna’s Story


Growing up with a single mom, Brianna and her brother had a big role in taking care of their younger siblings.

“My relationship with mom has been challenging. My brother and I often had to take on the role as second parents with my younger siblings,” said Brianna. “I couldn’t do things that normal kids could do.”

Growing up she didn’t live in an area where she felt safe outside; so she spent summers inside at home with just her siblings, which hindered her ability to connect with other kids. She was very shy and someone who kept to herself. That all changed the summer they were all old enough to go to the Boys & Girls Club.

Brianna attended the Boys & Girls Club for 6 years where she grew into herself and found her purpose. She participated in activities, made friends, and developed communication, leadership, and life skills. The year Brianna graduated high school, she was honored with the Youth of the Year. Karen MacDonald, Director of Operations at the Boys & Girls Club shares, “She has a great sense of humor and quick wit, and she is incredibly resilient.”

“Being at the Boys and Girls Club helped me decide what I wanted to do in my future. It helped guide me to this point where I am now. I can take what I learned from staff when I was younger, put it into my own practice, and make a difference on the lives of others.”

Today, Brianna is working as a Program Coordinator at the Boys & Girls Club and is attending Southern Maine Community College where she is studying early childhood education.

Do you know what your United Way donation looks like? It looks like purpose. It looks like empowering our neighbors to thrive – not just survive.

The Boys & Girls Club, a funded community partner of United Way of Greater Portland, works to advance Thrive2027 Goal 2 (Empower our neighbors to thrive – not just survive ) by providing kids a safe out-of-school environment so that kids can reach their full potential.