Volunteer Spotlight: Brea Neri

This month, get to N Street Village Volunteer Brea Neri. Brea is the chair of N Street Village’s Impact Committee, serves meals, and plays a major role in supporting our events team with the Village’s fundraising efforts. Let’s get to know Brea…

I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. I attended Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania for my undergraduate degree and that’s where I originally learned about N Street Village. During a career fair, an alumna of Juniata, Ms. Megan Carpenter, came to share information about the Village. Fast forward to moving down here, I was looking for volunteer opportunities online and found out about the Impact Committee and the rest is history!

I also enjoy volunteering as a letter writer/city courier for The Letter Project (toloveourselves.com), an awesome nonprofit movement dedicated to writing letters to girls around the world who are in need of extra love and support. One of my favorite moments was when I was able to merge my two nonprofit loves (N Street Village and the Letter Project) by hosting a Write Night at the Village where staff and Village residents could come and participate in the lettering writing. It was awesome!

 During the day, I work at Gonzaga College High School here in D.C. where I am the Web & Communications Coordinator. In my free time I enjoy anything arts and crafts related (@BrayofSunshineDesigns), getting lost in a book, and indulging my sweet tooth.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area? I’m originally from Windber, a small town in Western Pennsylvania. I have been in DC since 2015.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? This is a really tough one! One of my favorite things about D.C. is the restaurant scene! There is never a shortage of good food here. That said, some of my favorites right now are St. Anselm, Farmers and Distillers, and Call Your Mother Deli.

On a Saturday evening you will find me… Equal chance you’ll find me trying out a new bar or restaurant in town OR snuggled up on the couch with my tuxedo cat, Jack, reading or watching a movie.

Who is one of your favorite musicians, why? One of my favorites is Leon Bridges. I love his old-timey, soulful sound. He’s so funky and how he dresses and performs makes him feel like he is from a different era. I have always felt like he hasn’t compromised his unique sound to sell records, and I appreciate that.

What is your favorite D.C. landmark? I would have to say the FDR Memorial. It really is gorgeous with all of the waterfalls and statues.

Brea (second from right) with the Village Impact Committee

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less. Community, healing, and life-changing.

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories? Some of my favorite Village memories are Friends & Family day for several years. I love gardening and don’t often get many opportunities for it living in the city, so I love helping to tend the Village’s garden. And also the annual Gala is always a very special time. The Gala is where I first met Ariel, my former Impact Committee co-chair and good friend, and I always love being there and hearing directly from the Steinbruck awardees about how the Village has impacted their lives.

What makes N Street Village unique to you?

I think what makes the Village unique is the people. It’s so abundantly clear that the staff of the Village care so deeply for the important work that they do and as a volunteer, that’s inspiring and encouraging. I’ve so enjoyed working with and getting to know so many of the staff members over the years. In addition, the Impact Committee has been such a positive experience for me since I first joined several years ago. It’s nice to have found a group of like-minded, service-oriented young people in my community to connect with. And lastly, but certainly not least, it’s been a blessing to interact with the women that the Village serves. I value hearing every woman’s unique story including what brought them to the Village and what their hopes and dreams for the future are.