Staff Snaps – Vol. 5: Amanda Bryant
On Staff Snaps we feature some of the all stars who make the good stuff happen behind the scenes at Surfing the Nations. Today on Staff Snaps we’re featuring the fierce Amanda Bryant, staff of the month for May and outstanding team player for our Outreach department and STN crew. Amanda is sold out for Surfing The Nations, working directly with the homeless community of Wahiawa every day, and loving and serving those around her with excellence. Read below to get to know Amanda better and see some photos snapped at a barbecue for the local neighborhood.
Born and raised?
Ruidoso, New Mexico. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not born and raised in Colorado. My family and I moved to Colorado when I was in high school, I was sixteen. My parents are still in Colorado. But home has always been New Mexico, Colorado’s just where I spent five years of my life. I went to school for a year and a half in Colorado, and one year in South Dakota.
Favorite part of the workday?
It depends on the day. But, I think it’s when I get to Feeding the Hungry and all the aunties and uncles get so excited to see me, and I’m thinking, “I love you guys, I don’t know all your names, but I love you guys!” They’re all just always so stoked, giving me hugs, bringing me snacks. One of the aunties and I do our exercises on Thursday mornings; we stand by the gate and do our morning stretches.
Pick me up song?
This is what I’d listen to driving down to Kalihi to get amped for Feeding the Hungry – I love Silence by Khalid and Marshmello.
A story about how you ended up at STN?
After my time in South Dakota, I moved home to Colorado and I was so confused about my life; I was dealing with depression and just feeling very lost. My good friend A.J. had been out here in 2014 so she came to visit me in Colorado. We sat on my back porch drinking coffee and I just broke down and said, “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, and I don’t know if I want to go to school right now and I just need to figure things out.” And she said, “You should go live in Hawaii for three months [for Internship].” So I did and now it’s been a year and three months. So special shoutout to my girl A.J. Shackleford! She’s amazing.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve recently received?
Craig Nunez [former staff member] shared this with me the other day, “You can’t do things on your own, and it doesn’t show weakness to ask for help.” That’s something that’s been very real to me recently because I’m always wanting to do things by myself and I feel like I have to prove to people that I’m strong and I can do things on my own. I think I’ve just been humbled recently, realizing there are people in my life that are there to help me and support me and it takes strength to tell people you have needs and to ask people to help you.
What fuels you?
Crossfit! Crossfit is my release and it’s what I look forward to. I do it as much as I can throughout the week. It’s been really good for me to get involved with a community that’s not STN related, and finding something to exert my energy in a positive way.