Brittany Hebert hasn’t met a challenge she wasn’t up for.
This article originally featured on the Voyage Houston website and republished with permission.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Hebert.
Brittany Hebert hasn’t met a challenge she wasn’t up for. Her first challenge was growing up with big life aspirations yet making them happen when living in a small, rural town in South Louisiana. She met that challenge head-on by entering a beauty contest, which crowned her “Miss Acadiana” at the age of 14. That title offered her the opportunity to meet with people and travel to places which would have a hand in her next steps in life.
Before applying to college, life began to hand her some serious obstacles and it started as a child when her father crashed in a helicopter which caused him to become disabled and struggle with PTSD. At age 16, her parent’s divorce caused a domino effect for numerous unfortunate experiences including her mother’s drug addiction, father’s depression, grandfather’s heart attack and house fire which she nearly escaped alive. Not to mention the fact that during her parent’s divorce and while in high school, she worked to support raising her brother and handled the day to day household responsibilities. But that didn’t stop Brittany! She kept her faith and used her work ethic to get her to the next stage in life.
While attending The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, she would be faced with her next challenge: applying to law school. As if studying for the LSAT wasn’t enough, she was approached to raise $10,000 for the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She remembered visiting St. Jude on a trip to Memphis, TN.
During her reign as Miss Acadiana. The memory of the children she met that day tugged at her heart and she decided she would accept the challenge to do something bigger than herself.
With close friends and fellow pageant queens, the magic began. Hebert’s goal of the first fundraising event (sporting clay tournament), was to raise $10,000, but after pulling in friends and resources to join the cause, Hebert raised a net profit of $50,000! Donations were made to St. Jude and The Ronald McDonald House Charities, Memphis.
Soon after in 2007, on the steps of Dupre Library at The University of Louisiana, Hebert officially created Sky High, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide comfort, fund research and save lives of those fighting pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Two weeks after the tournament, one semester shy from graduating college with a bachelor’s degree in English, Hebert was offered a job with oil and gas giant, Pegasus International in Houston. Life has a unique way of throwing you curves but Hebert saw them more like a sign from God and packed her bags.
At 22 years old, Hebert found herself in a new city, with a new career path and desire to expand her newly formed nonprofit to Texas. Plans soon began for the first Sky High sporting clay tournament in Houston in the Spring of 2008. Hebert called upon several friends and colleagues in the oil and gas business to join her team, including sponsorships from giant corporations like Anadarko Petroleum.
During the summer of 2012, Hebert was offered a sales position for Extreme Energy Services and never content with “meeting goals”, Hebert began looking for new ways to take Sky High to the next level. In 2013, Hebert and Sky High took the tournament to the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio where they hosted over 1,000 shooters and raised a record-breaking $750,000 net profit for kids fighting cancer.
Her career would take a new path in 2014 when she began working with Furmanite America (TEAM) as one of three women on a sales team of 30 professionals reached across the Gulf Coast. Hebert was the only female, and the only sales representative to cover both the midstream and upstream sector of pipeline sales.
On August 26th, 2016 Furmanite America laid Brittany off during the energy downturn so she took three months to focus on what she really wanted. She opened BMH Performance on January 1, 2017, and began working as a Sales consultant for WeldFit Energy Group but most of all, she was named CEO of Sky High (holding a part-time contract position for the nonprofit).
Hebert continues to raise the bar each year. Her vision is to find a cure for pediatric cancer and since launching Sky High, she has partnered with numerous celebrities to help bring awareness to the public; her nonprofit’s name is now on two oncology wings at hospitals, and Sky High donates to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Memphis and Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer & Hematology Center amongst others. Most of all, she gives the credit to the team she has built for taking Sky High where it is today and saving countless lives.
Hebert has been named 2016 – Houston Business Journal 40 under 40; 2014 St. Jude Houston Gala Guest of Honor.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As they say, the struggle is real. Learning to balance work life, charity life and my home life has been a great challenge. It’s not just anyone you can turn to advise for when it comes to a nonprofit. There is a definite learning curve. My advice to anyone starting a new journey… be patient. You will make mistakes and there will be highs and lows. Remind yourself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take time for yourself. You can burn out quickly trying to make it all happen overnight.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Sky High for Kids story. Tell us more about it.
My 501(c)3 raises awareness and money for pediatric cancer research. Only 4% of government funding is allocated towards this terrible disease. We are making great strides but there is so much left to do. My hope is to help fund a cure for pediatric cancer before I die.
There are certainly numerous charities with pediatric cancer as their platform. What sets us apart are a few things: We are a boots on the ground organization. We don’t just write checks, we are active in the community and are very hands-on with the families the cancer affects. We also offer unique experiences in which we raise money. We host golf tournaments, sporting clay shoots and banquets. We make fundraising fun! Finally, our organization is fortunate enough to have a loyal group of volunteers that help us making it happen every single day. We host 12+ events each year and it takes a village to make them successful year after year. I cannot thank them enough!
Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
I strongly suggest finding a mentor. Someone you admire for their accomplishments in their field and who is greatly respected. Their time and advice can save you a lot of headache and valuable dollars that could help turn your vision into reality.