The Forty Under 40 Class of 2021 in Michiana

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - 09:39

The 15th annual "Forty under 40" represents some of the brightest talents in the region. Honorees, chosen by a committee formed by the South Bend Regional Chamber, are recognized for the achievements in their careers and their contributions to community.

The eight-person selection committee, comprised of local business leaders, reviewed more than 180 nominations this year. 

Breanna Denise Allen

Breanna Denise Allen


Age: 35 

Birthplace: Terre Haute, Ind. 

Residence: South Bend 

Educatione: M.S. and B.S., Indiana State University

Employer: Horizon Education Alliance 

Title: Director of student pathways 

Who or what inspires you? My mother inspires me. As a single parent, my mother made sure my younger sister and I had everything we needed. I watched her grow in her career, build a home from the ground up, and maintain a fulfilled lifestyle. She taught me how to be strong, dedicated and humble. My mother is amazing! 

Best advice you’ve ever received? Find what you love doing, and you will never work a day in your life. 

What is something people don’t know about you? I was 22 when I first traveled to Disney World, and when I first stepped foot at the park I felt 10 all over again! It was truly magical! 

How do you like to start your day? The alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. and I yell “Girls, time to wake up. It's time for school. It’s time for school.” Everyone gets dressed, I drop my girls off at school and daycare … and then I finally get to take my first sip of coffee, a dark roast blend with steamed almond milk and two pumps of sugar-free caramel or sugar-free vanilla! Ahhh! It truly is the best way to start my day. 

What problem are you trying to solve? Far too long, there has been a mindset of college for all. What we know is true is that roughly 25% of Indiana high school graduates actually complete a post-secondary degree (2- or 4-year), therefore roughly 70% are left to find their way into the labor market with hopes of a fulfilled livelihood.  My hope is to expose students starting in middle school to career pathways in many fields, such as healthcare, information technology, business, education, financial services. Hands-on interaction with local employers could lead to modern youth apprenticeships, where a junior and/or senior in high school starts meaningful work as an employee with a local business in their career path of interest, earning wages, college credits, and industry certifications that prepare the student for multiple options after high school. It will help bring more intentionality around a young person's career journey. College is not for everyone, and it is not the only way to have a fulfilled livelihood.

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