My name is Megan Bryant and I was a Junior Fellow from 2008-2010. I served as the organization’s President from fall 2008 to fall 2009. After graduation in May 2010 I moved south to the Nation’s 4th largest city: Houston, Texas! I work as a legal assistant for a large law firm based out of New Orleans that does defense work for large oil and energy companies. I work in the Chase Tower downtown which is the tallest building west of the Mississippi river! Below is my view everyday, a view very different from Huntsville’s wide open spaces. I plan to spend the next year gaining public service experience by volunteering with local non-profits and exploring career opportunities in local government. My first public service experience in Houston was serving on none other than a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo committee for the 2011 rodeo. Consisting of 24,000 volunteers, the opportunity was unforgettable and, again, different from my Huntsville volunteer ventures.
It’s a strange experience leaving a town so affable and community based as Huntsville, where I regularly ran into people I knew on the street—unlike Houston, where I am just another face in the hectic crowd of 2 million people. So keeping in touch with the Junior Fellows has helped remind me of everything I enjoyed and learned from the Huntsville community.
Recently, I joined the Junior Fellows on a trip to see author David Brooks, attended the annual Republican vs. Democrats charity football game, and participated in the City of Huntsville’s Outdoor Explorer Program at Huntsville State Park. The book signing discussion was extremely educational especially for a young recent graduate, and the football game was another success and incessantly entertaining like always.
However, I must admit that the Outdoor Explorer program was my favorite event as an alumnus. We began the morning by kayaking in the lake, making sure to explore every nook while keeping our eyes wide for the local alligators. I was convinced that Professor Yawn actually wanted to find the alligators just to see our reactions. Then we went biking on an amazing trail through the forest filled with luscious greenery, challenging hills, and wooden bridges, the perfect environment for our adventure. Our trail leader, Junior Fellow Robert Loughran, generously shared his knowledge of the wilderness and compared himself to an Indian scout. The afternoon ended with a relaxing hike during which we caught up on recent events and shared our anecdotes of our favorite Junior Fellow events. The event was an amazing way to try things I had never done before, meet new members, and stay connected with a community that made me who I am today!