Brittany Brewster - Belle of the Butler Center

Brittany Brewster, Assistant Director of the Butler Center for Service and Leadership, Treasurer for NASPA Florida, Whitely’s Women’s Leadership Symposium Advisor and all around magic genie of community impact, is an animated student lifeline. Whether you're looking for advice about using your passions to enact change, craving some authentic cultural food or just need to sit and talk with someone who is guaranteed to make you smile, Brittany’s office is the place for you.

Q: What does service mean to you?

A: "Service, to me, is giving a little bit of yourself for the betterment of someone or something else."

Q: What Butler Center resource do you wish students took more advantage of?

A: "Social innovation grants and one-on-one advising. We offer advising to students and organizations that are interested in creating a service day or initiative. I really think each group has the opportunity to create an impact, to take what they stand for and tie it to a social issue and do something for the local community. I’m really inspired by the kind of community we could live in."

Q: If you were a Disney character who would you be? Why?

A: "Belle. She is compassionate and family oriented. She’s perplexed by society’s view of reading and education. She just can’t understand how education isn’t a right for all, and that she is seen as weird for pursuing it."

Q: Which social issues are most important to you? Why?

A: "Education: access to quality education for everyone is very important to me. I believe that education is something that everyone should have the ability to pursue. Women’s Rights: everything we do is rooted in the ability of women to give us the opportunity to be here. It just blows my mind that there are places and things deemed unsuitable for women; that there is inequality."

Q: When did you first get involved in community service initiatives?

A: "I have vivid memories of being an honorary Boy Scout. My family has always been very involved in service. When my brother was a Boy Scout, I got to volunteer and unofficially be involved in all of his events. It really created a sense of responsibility to the community. To my family community involvement is important, and I try to make an impact in every community I am part of."

Q: Name three things you can use a pen for besides writing.

A: "Hair pin. Drumstick. Happiness spreading magic wand."

Q: When I say activist, what are the first three things that pop into your head?

A: "My sorority: at this point in my life, it is the primary platform for me to be an activist. The city of Miami: as a South Florida native, I feel a real sense of community here. Miami has had a big impact on my life and activism. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: he was the first person that I internalized as being an activist. I know now that there are many activists and different levels of activism, but as a kid he embodied what an activist was to me.”

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

A: "I don’t know if I can quantify an accomplishment. I love to help people discover who they want to be. My success is defined by helping others achieve theirs. I get to see that manifest everyday in the work that I do. I want to help people be their authentic selves and use that to change the world."

Q: Favorite female book character? Male character?

A: "Grace from 'Amazing Grace': this was my favorite childhood book and the first book I can vividly remember with a female as the main character. Grace is a young African American girl who desperately wants to play Peter Pan in the school play. She challenges the status quo and, in the end, gets the part. Grace teaches us not to let the world dictate who you can be. It was also a beautifully illustrated book. I can’t really think of a male character that has influenced me in the way that memorable female characters have.”

Q: It has been proclaimed that you are the food guru. How do you feel about the title? What are your top 3 restaurant suggestions?

A: “Oh wow, well I am honored and humbled. I feel like the pressure is on for me to give really good suggestions, but, like with life, I'm ready. Finka in West Kendal, Blue Collar off of Biscayne Blvd. and Havana Harry’s."

So if you have some spare time and want to learn more about service, food or Disney heroines, stop by Brittany's office. I'm sure she'd love to see you.