PEABODY, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas teen uses her setbacks to achieve her dreams while inspiring the next generation.
“Putting myself out there was really important to make sure I was successful,” said 20-year-old Breanna Lett, who grew up in the small town of Peabody.
During high school, she was heavily involved in the community, playing sports and taking on roles in her school’s art and music programs.
Her passions led her to Tabor College, where she is now studying to be a teacher and is on the cheer team.
“I was so involved in high school with everything. This is nothing for me at this point,” Lett laughed about her busy schedule.
When Lett is not studying or cheering, she is at the Peabody pool. She is the pool manager and a swim lesson instructor.
“I feel kind of obligated to the pool, to give back just because I have been here a lot of years,” she said.
Lett’s time at the pool started long before her lifeguarding gig. She used to practice at the same pool when she was competing on the town’s swim team.
Rachel Winter, the coach of the Peabody Superswimmers, coached Lett.
“She is a hard worker, she really has a great belief system, and when she wants something, she goes after it full tilt — so she is going to come in and do whatever job is in front of her with passion and energy,” said Winter. “And whatever role she needs to take, she takes that role and works with it.”
Lett, a soon-to-be junior in college, said her childhood shaped her attitude toward life.
“I kind of grew up in not the most ideal situation. I was raised by my grandpa, so I kind of had to learn from some people who are close to my mistakes,” Lett said. “I feel like some people close to me have put a damper on our name, so I had to work my way up and prove who I was and make a name for myself again.”
Winter weighed in on Lett’s experiences and strengths.
“She has faced some adversity in her young life, and it’s really made her value what is important to her family, community, and the people who helped her along when she was facing that adversity,” Winter said. “She knows how important that was in making her who she is, and she likes the idea of giving that back to the next generation and providing that person to the other kids who may face adversity.”
And giving back to the next generation is exactly what Lett has set out to do. Winter laughed when she told KSN Lett has helped teach a majority of the children in Peabody how to swim.
Lett also hopes to use those teaching skills in a classroom setting. As a para and future teacher, she said she has the chance to give back to the community that has helped shape her and become the person she is today.
“I know growing up, it was really important. Our teachers were a really big part in my life,” Lett said. “If I can help them (next generation) succeed, why not do that?”