Skip to content

Alumni Spotlight: Katherine Bryant

For our 35th anniversary, we’ll be sharing the stories of 35 alumni showcasing the leaders they are today and how 21st Century Leaders inspired and impacted their journey. Alumni will represent the 3.5 decades since our founding in 1989 – the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s. Take a read and be inspired!

35th Anniversary Alumni Spotlight


2000’s Decade
: Katherine Bryant
H.S. Grad Year: Class of 2003
High School: Lakeside High School
College: Presbyterian College; American University
Current Role: Educator at St. Stephens and St. Agnes School; International Development Official at Northwestern University

How has your career unfolded and how did participating in 21CL help prepare you for your next steps going to college, taking on a new leadership role in community/college and after?

I’ve called Washington, D.C. home base since pursuing a master’s degree in International Affairs with a focus in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from American University in 2010. During my time in D.C. and abroad, I have worked with several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on issues such as food security, sustainable food systems, and education policy. Currently, I teach and coach at a middle school in Alexandria, VA, where I serve as the Community Engagement and Service-Learning Coordinator. Presbyterian College provided me with the interdisciplinary experience that shapes my classroom teaching. Summer break allows me to remain engaged in global projects designed to support asylum seekers and promote education for all students.

What’s your memorable or ‘aha’ moment during your time at 21CL? (Particular program, meeting a professional and diverse peer, speaking in public for the first time, etc.)

I spent two summers with 21CL and developed friendships with students who I continued to interact with through service organizations across Georgia. I particularly enjoyed the classroom learning and connected field experiences introducing us to the model of social entrepreneurship.

Did 21CL assist you in developing a leadership style that makes you an effective leader? If so, how? 

21CL developed my posture towards networking. Such a process can so often feel empty or insincere, but 21CL emphasized the joy of connecting for a common goal and building relationships that can serve a community beyond oneself.

Why do you believe programs like 21CL are important? And what advice would you give to a current or future student?

I’ve had the delight of interviewing and reviewing applications for potential 21CL students. As a teacher, it’s encouraging to see the high-quality applicants who have genuine motivation to develop their capacity for leadership within their school and communities. I know students’ expectations will be surpassed when they engage with the robust programming offered by 21CL.  I would encourage such students to continue to apply for any and all programs that are missionally-aligned with their own goals and lives. An application process can be life-shaping in itself, helping one to both weave the threads of their story and to also gain vision for the future of which they hope to be a part.

Share the inspiration!