Since graduating from Minnetonka in 2010, Brittney Fagerlee has kept herself busy with volunteer projects around the Twin Cities. “It makes me feel good to help others in my community,” she says. “My motto is to have courage and be kind.”
One of Brittney's first service projects was volunteering at the Beehive Memory Care Center, where her grandmother used to live. While there, she focused on meeting residents’ needs and providing companionship and assistance with different games, meals and activities. Brittney’s commitment to serving this community left a lasting positive impact on the Beehive residents.
At her church, she helps lead a youth group of younger students. Twice a week, she also serves as an assistant preschool teacher with Mount Calvary Lutheran Church. She has formed a special bond with many of her students, who are always excited when she joins their class. Additionally, Brittney is an employee at Kowalski’s in Excelsior. Her work there has been essential in allowing Kowalski’s to remain open and accessible throughout the pandemic.
Perhaps Brittney’s biggest service project, however, has been her work with Best Buddies. Best Buddies is an international organization dedicated to creating integrated and inclusive relationships, leadership, employment and living opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In recent years, Best Buddies has become more established in the greater Twin Cities area, and Brittney has been a key player in this transition. Her dedication to raising money and awareness earned her the Best Buddies Champion of the Year Award for Minnesota, a high honor in the organization. Brittney celebrated her recognition with her family and fellow Best Buddies volunteers at a ceremony in 2019.
“[Winning the Best Buddies Champion of the Year award] made me feel proud and important,” she explains. “It was fun to be a part of the night with my friends and family.”
Looking ahead, Brittney hopes to continue with her various employment and service activities, especially Best Buddies. Most recently, she has been working on organizing a walk to raise awareness for the Best Buddies program.
With regards to her time at Minnetonka, Brittney remembers her time in high school fondly. “I met a lot of good friends and awesome people at Minnetonka who influenced my life in lots of good ways,” she explains. “They made me feel important and included and that what I did mattered.”
Brittney hopes younger generations of Minnetonka graduates will continue her legacy of kindness and service long into the future. “Do what you love, make the most of each day, and be kind along the way,” she advises them.