A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Brianna Manning

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Brianna Manning
By: Kali Beatty Last Updated: October 23, 2019

Brianna Manning has had a passion for positively influencing youth for most of her life. As the sports and aquatics director at the Portage Township YMCA, she’s able to help kids and students throughout the community in a number of different ways, most importantly in helping shape who they become. 

Gilbert, Arizona native,

A native of Gilbert, Ariz., Manning moved to Indiana in 2012 to pursue her passion at Purdue University Northwest. Through her journey and the ups and downs, faith has been an integral part of Manning’s life, which is all the more reason she wants to give back to the community. 

“I believe that today’s youth are our future and that as adults we need to feed into them and help mold them into the best version of themselves possible,” Manning said. “So many youth lack a positive role model in their life and that is what I hope to be to the kids who walk through our doors.”

From her Grandma Pat to her loving husband, Manning has been surrounded by a number of positive influences in her life. Their encouragement to follow her dreams and their support every step of the way has led Manning to where she is today. 

“I was fortunate to have great role models in my life who showed me possibilities I never would have thought of,” Manning said. “I do what I do because I want to be able to pass on that amazing gift I once received.”

Youth are one of the most important parts of any community. Eventually, they will be our community leaders, and Manning sees it as our duty to ensure they have all of the tools necessary to keep cities like Portage going strong. 

“We have the opportunity to help youth grow, learn, and thrive in our community,” Manning said. “If we do that then we ensure the best possible future for both the youth and Portage.”

Manning loves all things swimming, dancing, painting, and quality family time, which is one of the reasons she has been a swim instructor and coach for more than 11 years. It’s also why she decided to move to Portage. 

“Portage is a tight knit community,” Manning said. “And a great place to raise a family.”

Some words of wisdom that Manning has for the youth:

“Don’t sweat the small stuff because it won’t matter in five years or even a year from now.”