The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Young CEO shares her keys to success

Heather Reynolds

By Briana Outlaw/ reporter

Heather Reynolds

As a young teen, the CEO of Catholic Charities Fort Worth didn’t realize her eighth-grade Catholic school graduation would be the event that shaped her life. 

Heather Reynolds told TR students March 30 about her personal journey and leading CCFW in its mission to end poverty.

“It was a grand occasion,” she said. “The priest would go around and say something special about each person. When he came to me, he said, ‘Heather Reynolds is like bubbles in champagne. Her personality is so bubbly.’”

One classmate received news that he would go on to be a priest because of how smart he was, and another was told that she could be a nun because she was so patient. Reynolds felt like her prophetic word had resulted in her being called an airhead.

It wasn’t until after high school when she was an intern at CCFW serving her purpose of helping people that the priest’s haunting words turned to light. After an event, a woman approached her.

“You are so passionate,” the woman said. “It’s like bubbles in champagne. Your passion just bubbles over.”

After being consistent and working hard, Reynolds became CEO at 25. She relates to those who are young leaders and are viewed as underqualified.

“Dig deep and don’t care about the opinions of others because they hate on how young you are or whatever it may be,” she said.

She encouraged students to find peers that will benefit and stimulate growth along the way.

“Surround yourself around people who are smarter than you, specifically in the areas where you are weak,” she said. “Act with bravery, focus on what your passion is.”

CCFW caters to refugees, immigrants, transportation needs, health care, financial assistance, abused and neglected children and more. When researching things that make a difference and approaching these fragile situations, her team must lead with bravery.

“Bravery is a critical characteristic that we possess,” she said. “Our goal is to end poverty. We are brave, and we go out on a limb to get the results we want.”

Reynolds believes people should discover their special gifts and passions to share them with the world and to enjoy life.

“Understand what your gift is,” she said. “Whatever they are, put them into use. Life is too short to not do what you love and what makes your heart tick.”

Reynolds supports the idea of students finding their niche and using it to get involved in an organization. She started as an intern and became CEO, so she believes in working somewhere a career could be an option down the line.

“Be open, share your strengths and discuss how the company can use them,” she said. “Pair up with an organization that may benefit you and is somewhere you could see yourself working as a career.”

Reynolds encourages students who are weary to stay motivated in school and to withstand the struggles.

“She taught me not to give up when you’re going through hard times and to strive for what you’re passionate about,” TR student Chris Wells said.

TR student Quin Crathin attended to thank Reynolds for her organization helping him make ends meet while he was jobless.

“They [CCFW] helped me pay my light bill when I didn’t have a job,” he said. “Hearing her speak was motivating.”

Reynolds emphasized the importance of making school a priority and getting an education. She said work and school are tools that help students grow in the skills they lack and provide a beneficial way to be better overall.

“School is so hard, and life gets in the way, but make education the last thing you drop and not the first,” she said.

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