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UMassFive's Interview with J.S. Bryant Schools Allison Druin

- Community

What is it you are most excited to share about your business? 

We’re doing something that nobody else has actually done before. We are supporting LGBTQ teens that are struggling with anxiety and depression. Why hasn’t anyone done this before? We do not know.

 Why did you feel that Massachusetts and the Valley was the right area for the school? 

Western MA is such an amazing place. It is rural and beautiful. The people are so understanding of people and diversity. There is such a strong feeling for inclusive experiences and we found out this was the best place in the world to do this.

 What makes you excited about working with your local Credit Union?

We’re not just working with a credit union, we are working with people who really understand what this school is, who the leadership is, and what the mission is and that’s powerful. I could not have asked for a greater gift for the work we are doing.

When you aren’t busy starting up this business, what are you doing? 

I am spending time with my own kids. One of my kids inspired my husband and I to start this school and we just enjoy him so much. He is now in college and we visit him, and we learn about the life he is leading there and it is wonderful. Our other kid is in grad school and it’s just amazing to spend time with both of them.

What piece of advice would you give someone looking to venture into start-ups? 

Have a lot of patience, and a lot of energy. Things that you think that are going to be “done next month” seem to take so much longer. There are opportunities that on a dime, you have to pivot” “we were able to do this pivot we are doing now, because of the community around us to be able to pivot. 

Is there anything else about your journey we should share? 

Our journey needs community. We didn’t set out to form community, we set out to build a school. In the process we realized how critical every voice, perspective, and bit of expertise came to make this happen.

UMassFive visting the school
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