20 Questions in 60 Seconds is our blog series in which we interview Communities In Schools staff members. This week's guest is DeAnna Rich, Manager, Resource Center and Communications at the Communities In Schools National office.
1. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
Well, That Didn’t Work: A Collection of Trial and Error Tales. I may have already started it.
2. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
Michelle Obama because I want to be a kick-a** woman one day too.
3. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Gymnastics! I think it’s such a cool sport that you can only really learn when you’re a child.
4. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Buy a house so I can adopt ALL THE DOGS! I’m sick of renting.
5. When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
Check in with my dad or my best friend back in South Carolina. They’re both incredibly important people to me, and I try to catch up with them as often as I can…sometimes that is every day, other times that is once a week.
6. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
Leslie Knope. She’s passionate, empathetic, strong and gets stuff done.
7. What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
Both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer within 6 months of each other, within a year of my move to the DC area. I learned a LOT about managing grief and not letting the dark stuff takeover your brightness. I also learned that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. Thankfully, they’re both okay now, but it was a rough first year in DC.
8. What story does your family always tell about you?
My mom loves to tell stories about me to anyone who will listen. Her favorite one is this: I came running through the house from the front door, through the kitchen and living room, and out the back door “like a Tasmanian devil.” My little brother is trudging along behind me, almost in tears. My mom stops him and asks, “What’s wrong?” He replies, “I don’t want to play outside anymore!” My mom, confused, tells him that he doesn’t have to play outside if he doesn’t want to play outside, to which he cries, “Yes I do! DeAnna said I HAVE to play outside!” as he finishes his trek to the back door.
Some might say I was bossy. I say I was practicing my leadership skills at a young age.
9. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
Watching TV with my two dogs, Judge and Julep. They like Law and Order: SVU and Animal Planet.
10. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Laundry! I don’t mind washing clothes, but folding them and putting them away seems like an awful way to waste a day.
11. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?
I got fired from my first “big girl” job and thought it was the end of the world. I learned a lot about myself, what I need in an employer and a boss, and what it is I exactly wanted to “do” and who I wanted to do it for during that time. It was a hard time in my life, but it helped me figure a lot of things out quickly.
12. What three traits define you?
Off-kilter, compassionate, diligent.
13. What is your personal philosophy?
Don’t be a jerk and pet every dog you see.
14. Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?
I thought I’d be a stay-at-home mom or a part-time work mom. Definitely not ready for that level of responsibility, and am happy life twists the way it does.
15. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
I was a bartender in a medieval themed restaurant. Our uniforms were billowy-sleeved tops with floor-length, flowy skirts and corsets. It was very strange.
16. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I’d probably be a stand-up comedienne. I can’t go a single day without laughing at myself, and imagine most others can’t either.
17. What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Two things: you have plenty of time for boys, and put down the eyeliner for a few more years.
18. How do you define success?
Did you learn something from the process? If so, it was a success.
19. Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I’m a huge memoir/personal essay nerd. I love the short works collections from Watsky, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kahling, Tina Fey and so many others. I just finished one (of many) of David Sedaris’s books.
20. What is your favorite thing about working at Communities In Schools?
I love the community part of Communities In Schools. This place feels like a family with a purpose.
Have more questions for DeAnna? Comment them below and she'll answer.