Amplify Academy – Brittany Neal

Brittany Neal

I grew up in Milwaukee, WI where I daydream of being a social worker. Today, I am enthusiastic so say I am completing my last semester of graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in the part-time Social work program. During the last four years in graduate school, I have gained knowledge of the best practices in the mental health field. Furthermore, for the last six years, I have work with individuals living with mental health diagnoses, developmental disabilities, children, and elderly. Throughout my journey, I have developed my own self-awareness, communication skills, leadership skills, and critical thinking skills.

Get to know Brittany better

How did you come to work at your current organization?

The past two years, I have worked as a Services coordinator at Community Development Authority and I quickly gain an interest in the homeless initiative. After leaving the Community Development Authority to focus on school I found myself working at The Road Home in their Housing & Hope program.

Why is the work that you do important to the Madison community? Why is it important for you?

The work I do is important to the Madison community because I bring a creative style when providing services to individuals. I focus on humility to ensure I am connecting and fostering relationships to build trust. I personally believe building trust is a key element in developing more meaningful and personable relationships.

What is your vision for Madison?

My vision for Madison is to create more opportunities for people of color (POC) this includes having more POC in leadership and decision making. Furthermore, I want to bring a different perspective to mental wellness field as well.

When you look back over your whole life – What experiences have shaped you as a woman? and Why?

There are several experiences in my life that have shaped me into the woman I am today, but the two main experiences are being a shy child and my transition into motherhood.

I was an extremely shy kid and I struggled with speaking in a public place. Then, I grew up to become a shy young adult who did everything that was requested. Until I became a mother; I fought to overcome my fears which made me more confident in myself as a woman and as a mother. I did not want my daughter to fear speaking up for herself when she was uncomfortable, so I became her role model.

What are some of your practices of resilience? Who did you learn this from and how are these helpful in times of challenge?

When people ask me how I became so resilient its difficult question for me to answer because I never saw anyone in my family give up, especially my mother. Even after all the barriers, she faced she kept moving forward. I believe that influenced me to keep moving forward during difficult periods. Now that I am a little older, I am always strategizing, organizing, and laughing. These three things have been beneficial for my journey because it helps me balance the things I can control and for the things I cannot control I practice self-care.

What are some of the things you enjoy the most in life? What keeps you inspired, re-charged and brings you joy?

I love connecting with people and listening to people stories is something that keeps me inspired. When I become tired I take time to connect with myself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

When you think of your life journey unfolding, Who do you see yourself becoming?

As my journey unfolds, I see myself as an emerging leader in the mental health field who plans to address how services are provided in the Madison community.

I am eager to attend the Global mental health conference in Rwanda, Africa I believe this opportunity with Amplify Madison is providing me with a chance to develop a different perspective on how to approach mental health services in Madison.

Please list any recognition, awards or other similar that you might have received from college all the way to today.

University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Social Work

  • MSW (projected graduation date: 2019)
    Focus area: Mental Health
  • Recipient: Participatory Learning and Teaching Organization: PLATO scholarship
  • Recipient: Continuing Education Scholarship
    Upper Iowa University, Madison Center, WI
  • BA, Human Services and Psychology

Upstart Program

  • Business program for minorities
  • Analysis Team for re-development for the Community Development Authority (Triangle )
  • Racial and Equity Training and Facilitation
    National Association of Black Social Worker
    Madison, WI Community Chapter
  • Founding member
  • Empowering and uplifting the Black community in Madison
  • ACT Parenting Training
  • Hoarding Committee
  • Women’s Leadership Conference
  • Employee Assistance Program Facilitator
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