We had the good fortune of connecting with Angela Wang, Pranav Pattatathunaduvil, Alyssa Nie and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Angela Wang, Pranav Pattatathunaduvil, Alyssa Nie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
In general, any time we make a new decision for our organization that represents a considerable shift away from the current way we run things, there’s always a fair amount of risk-taking involved. For example, be it making changes to the leadership team structure or adding new responsibilities to specific team roles, we often have to not only consider whether these changes are actually on-net beneficial, but also factors like whether the team will react positively or negatively. Additionally, big decisions that either involve a considerable time or monetary commitment definitely come with an element of risk, since we’re never able to fully predict beforehand whether decisions like approaching a completely new market or spearheading new community projects will go smoothly or according to plan. However, at the end of the day, we definitely don’t shy away from this type of risk-taking decision-making, since it’s always been the most surefire way for us to continue expanding both our mission and impact.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
After serving as Executive Directors at Be the Light for a little over two years, the three of us are perhaps most proud of how much our team and community impact has grown from when we started our mission just a few years ago. The process of growing our organization into what it is today was not always a clear path and required a lot of trial and tribulation on our part. However, over the years, we learned to play to each of our team members’ strengths and really capitalize on the unique skills that each of us brings. Another aspect of building the team that has been important to us is establishing a strong team dynamic, one built on trust and open lines of communication. We attribute a lot of our success in terms of our growth to the fact that Be the Light is something that each of us is truly passionate about and derive a lot of purpose from. And so, for the three of us, spending hours each week doing everything from working on project logistics to coming up with new initiatives all feel less like actual work, and far more like fulfilling ways to spend our time.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d probably first take a friend to a small bakery called Millstone Bakery. They’re a local small business with great hospitality and even better baked goods. In my opinion, Plano’s nature reserves like Arbor Hills or Oak Point are pretty underrated, so I’d definitely take them to visit one afterwards.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We’d love to dedicate our shoutout to our organization’s founders and current advisory board members, Jacqueline Wei, Michelle Zhang, Neha Kalakuntla, and Anthony Jiang. Without their relentless dedication and passion towards Be the Light’s mission and cause, the organization would quite literally not be where it is today. Not only did they provide Be the Light its strong foundation that has allowed us to expand so much in the past few years, but the four of them have also continued to serve as real role models for our leadership as well. They’ve shown us what it means to not only lead with integrity, but also what it looks like to build a cohesive team dynamic and to really put your all into what you do.

Website: www.bethelightyouth.org

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bethelightyouth

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/be-the-light-youth-association

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bethelightyouth

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