With an undying passion for leaving a positive impact on the world and evoking positive change, Brittany Perro has lived a life far from ordinary.
Perro has never been able to complacently hold a job that doesn’t better the life of someone else. Growing up constantly asking herself if she’s doing enough for the world, she studied communications at Emerson college, concentrating on journalism, with the goal of becoming “the next Oprah”.
She slowly realized that this path might not be the best for her.
“I realized that the reason I loved that idea was because I was working with and helping people,” Perro said.
Her focus then shifted to teaching when she was recruited her senior year of college to participate in the Teach Across America program.
This program places teachers in under-resourced schools and hopes to introduce structure to the students.
After applying, Perro was accepted into the program in 2011 and relocated to teach special needs students at a school in San Antonio, Texas.
Speaking very fondly of her time in a community she called “wonderful”, Perro said the experience had a very positive impact on her and she quickly became very invested in involving herself with as much as she could.
“It was absolutely amazing,” Perro said. “I quickly made my mark there and worked day and night, would stay at school until 11:00, to make sure I was doing as much as I possibly could to help the students.”
After her first year there, she was asked by the principal to teach 7th grade English. Perro graciously accepted the position, and took on additional roles of leadership around the school.
Along with teaching, she ran the drama club and cheerleading team, as well as a program that connected students with pen pals from China, and started a school-wide curriculum for anti-bullying.
At the end of her second year, she was “starting to see grey hairs” and realized that she had overcommitted herself.
Her hard work was far from unrecognized, though. She was awarded Teacher of the Year that year.
“It was kind of like this moment where I was like, ‘I’m really happy with what I’m doing. I know I love this. I know I can make a difference with this, but I think I need to take a breath and work a little bit slower and figure out what else is out there in the world for me,’” Perro said.
After leaving a piece of her heart with her students, she headed back to Boston and hesitantly, but bravely, went into the world of business. She went on to work for three years in sales at software companies in the Boston area.
“It was hard going from “the teacher”, I started to identify as “the teacher”, to the sales rep who can close her computer at 5:00 and not have to think about work until she gets there the next morning,” Perro said.
She learned a lot during this time of her life. Not being used to having free time, Perro spent her down time concentrating on taking care of herself, contemplating what issues she’s passionate about, exploring her sexuality and making herself comfortable with her queerness, and overall taking a breath and getting in touch with who she is.
This time away from teaching also made her realize how much she missed it. She then started volunteering with the Student Leadership Training program (a program she rejoined as an adult after attending it when she was a student) and the Big Sister program, which connects women with young girls who don’t have many female role models.
After two years of working at a company called Oracle, she felt very disconnected with herself and disappointed that her daily work wasn’t helping to better the world and the people around her.
She then sought out Hubspot, a company that values their employees and has a program for leadership development, and spent a year there working on their sales team.
While taking part in the company’s sales training program, one task she was given was to create a business idea with an accompanying website to get inside the mind of their customers.
What she came up with was an online platform where she could act as a life coach to local women. She called it Miss Independents.
She began blogging for the site about mentorship, leadership for women, and other things she’s passionate about, and the number of visitors to the website went from zero to over one thousand.
Eventually she altered her idea for the business and decided to market it as a virtual hub for women mentors in the Boston area. Though larger businesses were asking to partner with her and the website continued to gain traction, she decided to put the idea on hold and concentrate on her current position with Hubspot.
Though she enjoyed her time at Hubspot, she realized that she could no longer ignore her desire to teach.
She now finds herself working for Brooke Charter School as their new art teacher – a job she thinks is exactly what she was meant to do.
Aside from her passion for teaching, Perro has also always loved performing.
Identifying as an artist, she loves singing, dancing, acting, and comedy. She has experience choreographing and directing, but her true passion is being onstage.
“Any chance I get to be with a big group of people or be in front of a big group of people making them laugh, or making them smile, or making them feel empowered is really important to me,” Perro said.
To fill the void of being away from the stage for too long, Perro took up classes at Improv Boston, an improv comedy club in Cambridge. After taking classes for six months, she auditioned and was cast in one of their long form improv shows and currently performs in that, along with a show for kids and families.
Though her life has taken her in many different directions, aside from her two years teaching in Texas, she has remained in Boston.
“This city has given me so many cool opportunities that I don’t think I would have if I moved to New York or Chicago or Los Angeles where most of my friends live. This city is super diverse, it’s really easy to navigate yourself around, well, debatable,” Perro said chuckling. “I just feel like it’s an easy city to live in and I’ve made a lot of really good friends here. I can be my best self here.”
Perro continues to humbly live a life filled with using her voice for good, channeling her strong, brave side to stand up for the underdogs, and above all, doing all she can to make the world a better place.
“I feel like my life’s work hasn’t been for the purpose of being a hero. When I see something that needs to be talked about, I talk about it,” Perro said.