We could all use a little lesson...

Every once in a while, these blogs will have NOTHING to do with business. They WILL in fact, have something to do with someone or something that is making an impact on not only other people, but our community, and our world. From time to time I will be featuring other folks who have built a smashing business, or who are just inspiring!

Today's blog is one of those posts. I'd like to introduce you to Brynn Friedrich. She's a super hero to many, but to me she's my quarter, neighbor, village member and teacher of many things. Of course, I'm partial, but take a peek at what she has to say and you'll feel the same, I'm sure.

Tell us about your background, first:

My name is Brynn Friedrich, and I am ECSE through Central Rivers AEA in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I am originally from New Orleans, but grew up in the best parts of this world, finally landing in Cedar Falls to raise a family.

I have a wonderful husband (also an educator), two sons (one Junior at UNI, one 8th grader) and a daughter (5th grade). We all like to travel, we enjoy the outdoors, and we play some mean Cribbage. We take on any critter who might wander onto our little farm, and we all take part in a crazy vegetable garden in order to grow and harvest veggies for our

community: We have a little {seasonal} garden cart in Janesville with fresh produce sold "On your honor," and we provide food to families who might not have the means to purchase frequent and fresh goods. Recent projects include the lifelong journey of renovating our old farm house, and taking on a truck rebuild.

I thoroughly enjoy my career, which helps me to help others. My position as an ECSE is complicated, but the nutshell version goes something like this: I support and work with families, teachers and child-care providers in a variety of settings (Waterloo certified and non-certified daycare settings, Waterloo Voluntary PK settings, and home settings). Our mission is to coach and guide parents and teachers to provide developmentally appropriate activities and curriculum to ensure access and opportunity for instructional growth with children ages 0-5. Should children fall below expectation, it is my duty, drive and obligation to support needs through interventions, in order to boost skills. Should a child continue with needs, I would provide a team evaluation and propose a plan to support that child through Special Education in the schools.

With my privileged position, I am able to meet people from all walks of life. For the most part, I have been welcomed into the homes and lives of some of est folks you would ever meet. I believe that everyone is doing the best they can in each moment, with what the​​y have. If I believed otherwise, this career would not be for me. No one single day has ever been like the other, which affords me the challenges that I need in this life of mine. I consider myself fortunate to be able to help others as I am able, and I never want to stop learning. My home family supports my 24-7 work, and they understand how important my work is to me

What does a day in the life of Brynn look like?

A typical day might consist of a couple of home visits for evaluation of students suspected of a disability, followed by center coaching or evals in Preschools. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, a team meeting, family time and most likely a football game, volleyball tournament, basketball game or soccer match...Oh-and then a glass of wine ;)

What inspires you to see the good in the world, and to BE the good in this world? The ever, optimist, how do you DO that?

The truth is, my good deeds are not selfless acts. I take great pleasure in helping others. Its really not about them, its about ME! What typically happens is this: I always imagine myself in the dire situation I might come across. What would I do? Who could I call? The answer almost always moves to a place where the person standing in front of me has limited resources, little family support, and perhaps no other option. If I walk away from this, what message is that sending? Seems like my silly little deed just might impact someone enough so that their own faith is restored for success. Not only that, but I would not be able to sleep very well, knowing that I walked away from someone who needed help. My health is at stake! I truly do believe that there is more good than bad in this world, and its just a matter of attitude. I don't believe that any human hurts another human intentionally, and that all things can be sorted out.


I urge everyone reading this: If you believe you might hold onto some selfish or entitled qualities, because helping sounds like a lot of work...JUST TRY IT. It will snowball. Pick up that lady walking to the bus stop in the rain. Smile at the guy in the car that cut you off (you never know where he might be heading and for what reason). Slip a $20 in the hand of the tired mom packing her Walmart cart. Pick up the trash on the ground as you are walking through a parking lot. Tell the McDonald's lady (who looks utterly stressed out) that you love her hairdo....And then... Don't tell anyone about your deed. Go home, and feel the greatness.

Sometimes I get frustrated, but it is not in my nature to give up. As you might imagine, sometimes I find myself thinking "Ooops-I am in over my head. How did I get here?..." But, I really can connect my helpful nature with traveling the world, as well as growing up in several different states (From Montessori New Orleans latchkey kid- to home-schooled New Hampshire-to Appalachia Tennessee poverty) and everything in between... with varying socioeconomic backgrounds, and cultures. I had to make friends quickly, adapt to my surroundings, and I am so fortunate to have been a part of it all. I try not to judge anyone. I do not want to win a rat-race, and I would pick buying glue for teachers, over a fancy new pair of shoes for myself any day. No-it doesn't make me a hero.

You are always helping another person, or critter…. What advice would you give to someone who really wants to get out there and be a light, but they just don’t know where to start?

Grand gestures are not what makes someone inherently "good." In fact, its quite the opposite. I have so many wonderful, giving, selfless people in my life. I need them. Let yourself need someone...That can be difficult for a lot of people. I learn so much from watching the goodness in the people around me. The ones who go out on a limb-even when they were not called

upon. These are the people I surround myself with. While there is a saying about hanging around negativity will eventually bring you down, I see the more negative people in my life as folks who might just need an ear or a different perspective, or some options. I refuse to be brought down, but I also want to help bring someone up. Everyone can find a person who needs to be brought up...and that is where I would begin. Attempt repairing a relationship. Reach out to a stranger you have heard a rumor about. Put yourself out there as a support. If you are looking to be a light, there are signals all around-they may be subtle. There are a lot of organizations seeking volunteers, there are a lot of causes to help support, but there is also the lady who always seems to be sitting on the bleachers by herself. Go sit next to her.

What are somethings our community needs more of?

*In terms of my career and position-our community needs qualified/fantastic child and family therapists. We have very few in the Cedar Valley, and those that we do have, are completely

booked. Our M​​ental Health services have gone downhill, and we need them more than ever. I am asked where to receive mental health services almost daily. There are limited options.

*In terms of community service, we should have options that extend beyond the

Christmas meal for the homeless and Thanksgiving drop off. Our service to those in need, should be every day. Perhaps a Service Coordinator model, where one place understands and can distribute information to families, schools and teachers, with ongoing causes to support!

*Trade school options and trade learning within our schools. While this trend seems to be heading in the right direction, every school should offer classes such as Welding, woodworking, mechanics, etc. We need to ensure that all students have options in their adult careers, and offering life skills opportunities in High school have certainly dropped to the back burner.

How do you think community members can begin to achieve these things?

*If you are looking for a career in Social Work, please check with licensed Social Workers to see how their lives are going. Universities and Colleges are quick to steer up-comers in the Social Work direction, but the truth is, your options will be incredibly limited. There are better degrees, which will afford you the Social aspect, with the career you want. (aka-Child Psychology!) (hint hint).

*Our community members could certainly rally and assist with a plan to get trade options back in to our schools. Not all students are bound for college, and not only that, I sure wish I knew how to weld! All students should leave high school with a skill set, even if they are college bound.

*But the biggest thing we can change? Our attitudes...Our community members could listen to the needs of others. I hear arguments all of the time such as: "She should go get a job, rather than sit home and collect a welfare check." We are the ONLY Nation that would speak in this way. Please be grateful that you are not disabled. Please be grateful that you have a job. Please be grateful that you are able to support your children. If we are upset about "having to pay" for someone else to "do nothing"...think about how that Mom feels sitting home alone all day, without co-workers. Without a plan. Without dreams. Without a steady income. Without an education. Be grateful it isn't you, and perhaps even be grateful that you have the means to shell out dollars to the person who might never get to the point where you are in life. If everyone changed this one attitude, what a wonderful world this would be!


Let's hear 3 Fun, little known facts about you!

*I am Monica Gellar. Please don't look in my closets.

*I have six toes on my right foot (just kidding..but that was fun).

*I have a brother

Favorite quote?

"Be The Change You Want To See In The World"-Mahatma Gandhi

Parting words of advice or inspiration??

If you have not yet visited another country: Please do it. But don't do it as a tourist. A resort does not count. Go visit a land where you do not speak the language, where you have to navigate on your own, where you do not know a soul. And-look around to see all of the helpers.

Brynn & Her Prince Charming!

#community #BrynnFriedrich #Personal #DoGood #Inspiration #Love #Selfless #BeTheChange

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square