Christina Brooks, 35, senior director, youth services, Hampton Roads Workforce Council | 2019 Top 40 Under 40

At work: I am the senior director of youth services at the Hampton Roads Workforce Council where I oversee the development of regionally-focused innovative workforce development programming for over 5,000 youth per year.

Home and family: Originally from North Carolina, I live in Suffolk with my husband of 13 years, William White, and our feline children, Kimicat and Hilda Von Hissypants.

Volunteer activities: With my passion for youth development and environmental sustainability, you can find me volunteering with organizations that serve youth, animals and the environment. I serve as the secretary on the board of Norfolk CASA, as a commissioner on the Suffolk Clean Community Commission, as the Employer director on the board of the Virginia Association of Colleges and Employers, and as a community volunteer with the Portsmouth Service League and the Portsmouth Humane Society.

Motivating factor: The joyful spirits of the youth I serve keep me motivated to do the best I can to help them achieve their goals.

Advice for young people: “Just worry about being something you can love and understand. The rest will take care of itself.”

Region’s greatest asset: The people who call it home. Finding a way to engage with the next generation and inspire them to choose our region to build their families and careers is a critical opportunity for the Hampton Roads region.

Downtime: In my spare time, you can find me traveling to book signings around the country or curled up at home with a warm blanket and a good book.