Great Things Never Come From Comfort Zones

by Cathleen Jacinto, SE, PE

“Always do something that makes you uncomfortable, or puts you in a position to meet new people or do things that you wouldn’t do otherwise. And you’ll be surprised what kind of result comes out of it… that kind of experience is going to create overall growth.”

One might say that these words by Avery Bang, CEO of Bridges to Prosperity, may fall in the ‘easy-to-say, harder-to-do’ category. However, Avery has shown how she has put these words into action through her work in Bridges to Prosperity, a non-profit organization that focuses on building bridges in underdeveloped communities.

On the Bridges to Prosperity website, Avery Bang is described as one of ENR’s Top 25 Newsmakers of 2012. Avery was also honored on ENR Mountain Region’s Top 20 Under 40 list in 2013, and was selected as one of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Fresh Faces in 2011, recognizing the top ten Civil Engineers under 30.  Avery is a Distinguished Young Alumni of The University of Iowa, recipient of the Recent Alumni Award from The University of Colorado at Boulder, and received an honorary doctorate degree from Clarkson University in 2014.

I had the opportunity to hear Avery speak at the SEAOI Midwest Bridge Conference in Chicago, IL. A motivating speaker, Avery inspired her structural engineering audience with a fresh perspective of how her decision to study abroad in college as well as her desire to build led her to discover her passion to build bridges and make a positive impact. “I returned a different person. For the first time, I realized the privilege I’d been given. I appreciated the opportunity, and I really wouldn’t settle for anything less than profound.”

We invite you to invest 14 minutes to watch this 2012 inspiring talk by Avery Bang.

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