shebelieves ambassador spotlight - powerplay
Full Name & Organization:
Brandi Daniels, PowerPlay
Tell us about your organization. How is it changing lives – and why is it important?
PowerPlay’s programs for girls and young women; it seeks to stem the decline in confidence that occurs three times more often in girls than in boys, from elementary school to high school. If girls don’t see it, they won’t do it. Girls miss out on opportunities to learn from positive female role models who look like them.
Using sports as our hook, PowerPlay starts a dialogue, offers the chance for critical and analytical thinking and opens the door to personal, academic and career growth for girls at all stages of their development.
What is your role and how does it support your organization’s mission?
I am one of the Senior Program Managers. I manage the STARS Series Program, our largest program serving around 600+ in all 5 boroughs. This program delivers a marriage of sport and social emotional learning. The girls have a safe place to learn different sports like soccer, rugby, fencing. And to explore SEL capacities that the sports foster.
Can you share a memorable or impactful moment you experienced through your role or with your organization?
My moments are always going out to the sites and seeing the impact the program has on the girls in person. Seeing their eyes light up when they are trying a new sport, scoring, or doing something they didn't think they could do.
We put together a fencing program on Staten Island and this all started from a vision in the fall. And only a few weeks into the program the girls were standing correctly, knew the lingo, and were excited about the sport. They put on a fencing demonstration in February that all of the girls were so proud to show their families and community what they accomplished.
Tell us about your background. What was your path and what drew you to work in your current role or field?
I have been playing sports since I was put in a pool and taught to swim at a very young age. I started playing soccer at the age of four. From there and through my teens I played at a very high level until I received a full scholarship to play at a D1 college. Sport and helping people have always been a major part of my life. Not knowing what direction I was going to go in after college, and knowing that if I continued with soccer professionally I wouldn't get paid a lot of money, I battled with my path in life. But I always knew I wanted to be around sport, preferably soccer, and help people. I found a coaching role at PowerPlay, and from there I went to coach and have multiple roles at City in the Community and New York City Football Club. After 6 years with the club and nonprofit I found the Senior Program Manager position at PowerPlay, which has been a great marriage of my passions.
What do you love about your organization?
I love our mission and how it aligns with my values. I love that we serve Black and brown girls and enrich their lives through sport and social emotional learn.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is patience. Knowing that I and the team have a vision of how we want to progress and taking the steps to get there. I could see the outcome and the steps but sometimes I want them to happen quicker than they do. Another hard part is not being out with the girls every day and not coaching anymore.
What advice would you give to women trying to pursue a similar career as you?
Don't let anyone take away your confidence. Your voice is important, just keep using it until its heard. Keep trying to get into the room and have a place at the table! And if you can't, MAKE YOUR OWN TABLE and invite others to sit there.
What advice would you give to young girls or women who your organization works to impact?
You are important, you’re are strong, and you can do what you put your mind to. As a young girl I was never told I couldn't do something. Too often these days we are telling our girls they can't for one reason or another. Or no one is telling them yes they can!
How can people learn more or get involved in your organization?