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Student enthralled by Bastrop EDC summer work

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By Terry Hagerty (Special to the BEDC)

Brittney Horn, 16, is learning about the business world at the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation this summer, and having quite a bit of fun, too.
The Bastrop High School junior is participating in a six-week paid program that allows youth to gain exposure to “industries of interest” to them, build job skills and network for possible future employment. The program is called the Rural Community Development Summer Program. It is a partnership between the Rural Capital Area Workforce Solutions and The Center for Rural Studies at Sam Houston State University.
“We find employers who see the benefit of mentoring local high school youth who are either juniors or seniors,” said Martha Chabot, WIA Youth Career Specialist.
Brittney has been on the job since June 16 at the BEDC office, and says she’s gaining valuable experience while working with executive director Dave Quinn, and his executive assistant, Angela Ryan.
“I do whatever they ask,” Brittney said, adding some of her tasks have involved doing research, putting together a scrapbook of news clippings about the BEDC, answering phones and shredding papers. She also runs errands to area businesses and non-profits – which adds to her interactions with the working community.

And she knowingly recites one of the key missions of the BEDC, the city of Bastrop’s economic recruiting arm: “The BEDC is about economic progress; they’re inviting more companies to come look at us, as a community,” Brittney said.
She says Quinn’s job dedication is contagious and Ryan is also a joy to work with.
“He’s so creative and he’s a pleasant person in the way he talks and advertises ideas. He is a great recruiter when it comes to bringing (business) to Bastrop,” she said. “And I adore Angela – she’s not only teaching me office skills, she’s also teaching me life lessons.”
Ryan said it’s been a pleasure showing Brittney the ropes. “It’s not often you find someone who can take direction really well and also shows initiative. Brittney demonstrates both, and she approaches everything with an enthusiasm that’s contagious. We’ll miss her when her six weeks with us is over.”
After a brief conversation with Brittney, one can see the enthusiasm that Ryan refers to, especially when it comes to learning.
“In school I love physics,” Brittney exclaimed, “mostly because of the teachers I’ve had this year, Mr. Elizondo especially. He made physics very interesting by showing us how it applied to real life.”
“I like to try everything because I don’t know what I’m passionate about yet. By the time I’m 22, I want to be Bastrop County Judge! I’m so excited to be working here – it’s my first ‘career-like’ job, and something I would like to do also, when I get older."

There’s no doubt Brittney is on her way to accomplishing almost any goal she sets her sights on.