December Young Professional Spotlight
Meet Tyler Litt
Occupation: Director of Investments
Organization: New Schools for Baton Rouge
Tell us a little about your Baton Rouge Story. What brought you to Baton Rouge?
My family has lived in Baton Rouge for as long as I can remember, so I have called Baton Rouge home for most of my life. Growing up my family signed me up for every community organization you could volunteer youth for—Top Teens for America, Louisiana Leadership Institute and to serve as a youth leader at my uncle’s church. Service has always been at the forefront of what I did, who I was, and my connection to Baton Rouge.
After graduating from high school, I enrolled at Loyola University in New Orleans. New Orleans felt like the best place to grow personally, spiritually, and academically. I made some of my best friends and experienced the richness and deepness of culture in that city.
I had not planned to return to Baton Rouge until the end of my senior year when my grandfather was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. His diagnosis made my decision to move back to Baton Rouge easier. It meant I could be closer to him and I would be able to support my grandmother in his caregiving.
Upon my return to Baton Rouge, I worked at a community health clinic before joining the inaugural staff of a middle school as a sixth-grade science teacher. After two years in middle school education, I started as a high school science teacher before being promoted to Student Activities Coordinator and Admissions manager for a local high school.
When I joined New Schools for Baton Rouge, I had come to a crossroads—would I leave Louisiana and move to another city or stay home and figure it out? I decided to stay and to use the gifts cultivated through my education, experience, and community to be the change that I want to see here in Baton Rouge.
Tell us more about how you’re involved in Baton Rouge.
I serve as Director of Investments with New Schools for Baton Rouge. In this role, I am afforded the opportunity to partner with various groups/stakeholders to increase the access to quality education for every student in Baton Rouge.
In this role and through my volunteerism, I can support partnerships and initiatives through practicing adaptive leadership to bring about change. The work is challenging but remarkably rewarding because this community is my community. I take responsibility because I owe it to my community for the invaluable resources and experiences it has provided me.
Organizations that I participate in include, but are not limited to, the following: American Red Cross, Barton Leadership Program, Capital Area CASA (Advocate), Forum 35, Urban League of Greater New Orleans Young Professionals, Urban Leadership Development Initiative (Metromorphosis).
What is your favorite thing about Baton Rouge?
My favorite thing about Baton Rouge is, despite being from here, every day I meet new people, learn new things and discover new spaces that excite me. I am also drawn to the immense need and opportunities to be a part of change that is very possible in this city.
I am so grateful to be from here and humbled to be able to leverage my gifts and perspective to bring people together to better this city.
What is your dream for Baton Rouge?
My dream is that the people and community of Baton Rouge could see the great value it has in the diversity of experience, thoughts, and ideas of its people. Not only is there a space of community for every idea, interest, and person—there are so many great galvanizing opportunities to work across lines of difference.
We are all trying to figure it out, and we can only see the impact we want if we work together despite how uncertain and uncomfortable it may be at times. The more opportunities we have to commune with others, the smaller those gaps or differences become.
How are young professionals like yourself shaping Baton Rouge?
As a young professional, we all struggle to have it all together and all figured out. I orient towards a level of graciousness with myself and commitment and openness to learning from everyone and every obstacle I encounter. I always encourage other young people and professionals to be open to self-care through mental health supports and taking the opportunities to serve the community. Every day I strive to find the best in each person, each challenge, and each system while working towards empowering others to identify opportunities and create systems that will foster equity.
What would you say to someone considering a move to Baton Rouge?
“Be a part of the reBiRth!” The gift or talent that you have is needed here in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge is the smallest “big” city that you can live in, find communities, and be a part of the dynamic change that will only further grow the city.
I will gladly meet you for crawfish or a snowball (the staples, to me, any time of year) and connect you with spaces and people who will help you build a sense of community or find an opportunity to give back.
What is your Baton Rouge favorite?
- Place to hang out: If I am in town, I am usually home or at the home of family or friends. I recharge by spending time with my godbabies — pretty certain their giggles and smiles are life-giving. I do enjoy the occasional Schlittz and Giggles’ atmosphere to catch up with friends.
- Place to capture the perfect Instagram pic: Tsunami’s rooftop, the terrace of the Shaw Center, or the Estuary.
- Place to people watch: I watch people everywhere; I try to be pretty observant so I take every opportunity to psychoanalyze, fashion police, and create a funny background story of passers-by.
- Place to network: Relationships are at the core of everything I do because no matter what our level of education or experience, we are people and we are all meant to connect. I am certain I can (and will) network with people in any and all places.
- Way to give back: The easiest way to give back is to be kind and be intentional. Sometimes it is taking time to be a listening ear, purging my closet of the items I have not used to share with other young professionals or friends, and/or being present for family and friends when they least expect it. Formally, I serve as a CASA advocate and teach 6-8 and 10-13-year-old bible study.
- Event: To be honest, it’s any opportunity to eat crawfish. As a child, my grandfather would take me to Southern University’s homecoming and I would always enjoy the food and the feeling of community. This year I attended my first LSU football game, it was a bit hot; however, I really enjoyed the energy that radiated from the seats.
With significant job growth, a bustling arts scene, delectable cuisine, abundant outdoor activities and more, the Capital Region attracts talent of all ages, including young professionals. Whether straight out of college or looking to establish their own business, more and more young professionals are choosing to lay their roots in Baton Rouge.
Each month, BRAC highlights one of these young Baton Rouge Area movers and shakers in the Young Professional Spotlight.