Name: Taryn Rivera Buckley
Birthdate: July 18, 1985
Where were you born? New York, New York, raised in Kissimmee (Orlando), FL.
What are your community activities? (church or faith-based involvement, local, regional and national professional organizations, non-profits, etc) Active member of Queen of Peace Catholic Community, Certified Health Education Specialist, Member past president and historian) of Eta Sigma Gamma Health Education Honorary, Member of American Evaluation Association, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), and Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). Staunch supporter of many local organizations. Outside of Girls Place, my next favorite cause would be Tyler’s Hope. Although I work there, I spend most of my free time at Girls Place hanging out with the kids!
List any awards you have won for community service: Nominated for the Spirit of Gainesville award in sportsmanship last year!
What is your definition of success? My time at Girls Place has taught me that success is measured so differently from person to person. For some of our girls success means being a rich doctor and for some it means being the first in their family to graduate from high school. My definition of success mirrors our girls’ logic: have a specific goal in mind and take the time to tenaciously achieve it. Did you give it your all? Was it more than what you expected you were able to give to something? Can you look back and ask yourself “how on earth was I able to complete that task?” If so, it sounds like you were successful! I should also add that truly successful people rarely make it through on their own. Having a support system in place to help you through the good, the bad and the ugly is critical for most successful people!
What is your greatest professional accomplishment? Completing my PhD all while working a demanding full time job and raising a toddler.
How do you exemplify the spirit of a Forty Under 40 professional? It is hard to believe that in my 28 years of life, I’ve been able to accomplish so much. I’m sure that I share a lot of similar qualities as the other Forty under 40 nominees. No doubt we’re all driven, passionate people for our respective callings. It humbles me to know I stand in such great company.
Businessperson who has most inspired you: Scott Costello and Amy Howard are two business people in our community that I truly admire. Both had vision and foresight to begin their own endeavors, became successful community leaders and turned that into something good for local organizations like Girls Place. Thanks to these generous leaders many local nonprofits thrive because of their fundraising efforts and volunteerism on our boards of directors! There’s a special place in heaven for people like them, who reach the top and turn around to extend a hand to the people who haven’t quite made it up there yet.
Best advise ever received: Nonprofits never sleep, so don’t expect to fix everything overnight. Make it a habit to expect the unexpected, and in order to deal with the stress that brings: take the time to take care of yourself. Get out of the office and go on vacation every once in a while!
Greatest professional challenge: I’m about to interview for a position which I know I’m the best candidate for… but I’m young and by proxy, I’m the least experienced. I know this is the best opportunity for me and though the interview will be daunting, the hardest part is yet to come if I actually get the job! I’m ready for the challenge. I really thrive in that kind of environment.
First job: The very first paying gig I had was when I was 15 years old. I became a soccer referee. Why not make money in something I love to do? I made sure to continue this mindset into my adulthood. One of my favorite high school teachers told me “Do two things in your life to ensure happiness. Spend the rest of your life with the person you love; and get a job in something you love so you never feel like you’re working a single day of your life!”
What color crayon would you be? Why? I would probably be an orange crayon. It matches my hair and is one of the colors of the best school of all time! J
Favorite after-work drink: Trader Joe’s Mango Green Tea
If I had a magic wand, I’d: Build Girls Place a state of the art gym that would help us cover all of our annual expenses and even provide scholarships for our members who go to college!
What is your favorite Gadget? Hands down, it’s gotta be my iPhone. I don’t know how I could function without it. It’s my camera/social media interaction/notepad/news source/exercise companion…. Get the idea?
How long have you been in Gainesville? I’ve been a Gainesville resident for 10 years!
What do you love most about Gainesville/Alachua County? This is our home. We’ve started our family here our friends and church community are awesome, but honestly you just can’t beat this environment. Gator sports one day, tubing down the Ichetucknee Springs on another day and being motivated to stay active with the loads of people running and riding bikes all around town. This place is truly the best… and I can say that as a very experienced traveler!
Three things people would be surprised to know about you: I’m Puerto Rican/Cuban, I’m a huge soccer fan and have been to the last 3 World Cups( and plan to go to Brazil in 2014 for the next one), I’m training for my first half marathon in November!
Advice you would give a younger you: Embrace the mistakes… it’s only going to make you stronger! As long as you find a way to bounce back from the mistakes, it’s all going to work out in the end!