2016 Top 40 Under 40 honoree: Andrea Harrell

Inside Business, October 11, 2016

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At work • I oversee workforce development programs for youth within the Hampton Roads community, including the Youth Career Center, the Career Access Network that has over 50 locations and more than 15 federally funded youth programs. The programs reach reach more than 10,000 individuals in the community annually.

Home and family • I’m always on the go with family, including parents, brother and sister-in-law, three nieces, two nephews, my fiancé, my children and two extremely spoiled Yorkies.

Volunteer activities • Center around my passion for supporting children. As a board member of Junior Achievement Hampton Roads, the KamCares Foundation and member of the Up Center Foster Parent Advisory Committee, I am involved with numerous community partnerships. I can be found in various activities from instructing an elementary school Junior Achievement Class to assisting community organizations with building partnerships and creating programs that benefit youth.

Motivating factor • To be the very best mother, foster mother and family member I am able to. Also, supporting our next generation on their journeys and decreasing barriers to their success.

Advice for young people • Learn to be flexible and roll with the punches. Things don’t always turn out as planned, but if you do your best and are patient, you’ll find that in the end things can be better than you ever believed they could be.

Professional goal in five years • To continue to build on this foundation, having a leadership role within the community that supports children and families.

The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads • We’re on a great path to increasing partnerships between the various localities and developing a cohesive identity for Hampton Roads. I would like to see us continue to make strides along this pathway.

Region’s biggest asset • The presence of the military. It continues to be one of the largest economic engines in our community. It’s hard to meet someone in our area that is not touched by our military in some way.

Downtime • I love to be outdoors. Whether it’s on the beach, in the mountains or in the woods, you can find me on a road trip that allows me to reconnect with nature.

What really gets under my skin • Bullies. I feel everyone should be valued, treated fairly and with respect.