To many young professionals, their current job is merely a stepping-stone to furthering their career or solely a way to pay their bills. On the other hand, some young adults are fortunate enough to combine their passion and strong work ethic to make a fulfilling living at a young age. For 25-year-old Brianne Schapira, her sacrifices and hard work during her young adult life and college career have allowed her to find a career in ministry and leading her peers to Christ. The Winston-Salem native recently accepted a campus staff position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Athletes in Action ministry, a program supporting a cause near and dear to her heart.
In her new position with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Athletes in Action, Brianne is excited to have the opportunity to spend time and worship alongside UNC-Chapel Hill athletes during Bible studies, large group weekly meetings, and one-on-one discipleships. As a former D2 lacrosse player during her final two years at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, Brianne knows firsthand how beneficial and imperative a spiritual support system is to college athletes juggling academic, athletic, and peer pressures. She recognized the value of having a peer or mentor act as a disciple and walk alongside her during her experience as a college athlete, and is excited to be able to pay it forward in her new career.
As a college student, Brianne participated in Lee University’s Adopt-a-Grandparent club, along with Cru at Lee, which allowed her to meet with other Christians on campus and spearhead her passion for student discipleship. She attributes much of her positive college experience with discipleship to her good friend Maggie, who has been very influential to her. Brianne believes the Lord has tremendously used Maggie in her life and is excited to now be living closer to her in the Triangle area.
Outside of college, Brianne worked at Merriwood Christian Camp in Clemmons for a couple of summers. During a summer month abroad in Prague, Brianne fell in love with the Czech culture and was ecstatic to be able to return for a year as a Cru missionary after graduating from Lee University in 2018. Through her missionary work in Prague, she became connected with an Athletes in Action staff member, who helped her snag her new role at UNC-Chapel Hill. After returning to Winston-Salem following her year abroad, she served as a Winston-Salem fellow to continue her work in ministry.
As for her future endeavors, Brianne is hopeful to be able to lead a summer mission trip to South Africa through Athletes in Action, although she would love to serve as a missionary wherever the Lord leads her. In her free time, you can find Brianne oil painting or playing spike ball with her friends. In fact, her joy for spike ball can largely be attributed to her love of bringing people together and spending quality time with the most important people in her life.
When she’s spending time in her hometown of Winston-Salem, she enjoys eating at The Porch Kitchen and Cantina and browsing her favorite local business, Visual Index, on Trade Street in Downtown Winston-Salem. As an art lover, Brianne fell in love with Visual Index when she learned that the shop helps support artists from every U.S. state by selling their pottery, prints, jewelry, paintings, and sculptures. The art shop also sells pieces from local artists, and consistently keeps at least one artist from every state in-store. Aside from her love of art, Brianne also raved about how friendly Visual Index’s owners are to every customer who stops by.
With her parents being the owners of River Birch Lodge, Brianne highly recommends the restaurant’s Very Berry Salmon Salad (although she can’t live without The Porch’s Texas Pete Chicken Flautas). As Brianne embarks on her new journey at UNC-Chapel Hill, she is grateful for where the Lord has led her and looks forward to seeing Him work in her life and in the lives of others for years to come.