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Featured Employee Brett Mann

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Featured Employee Vignette

Featured Employee: Brett Mann
Location: Alexandria, LA
Employee Job Title: Mail Clerk

 

Featured Employee: Brett Mann

Brett Mann - Alexandria, LA

Never Giving Up

“Your disability only holds you back as much as you let it. For instance, it took me two years to learn to drive a car, but I wasn’t going to give up”
– Brett Mann

Beyond Random Acts of Conservation

At first glance, you cannot tell that Brett Mann has a disability. Brett was born on April 14, 1971 with double pneumonia that led to lung failure just hours after his arrival into this world. As he lost oxygen, he suffered brain damage that destroyed a lot of his short-term memory. “I am just thankful God wanted me here and I am alive today because of Him,” said Brett. Brett also grew up with a severe limp, although today you can hardly see it. “I had to work extra hard to get where I am today. People made fun of me growing up and would tell me that I would never make anything of myself, never finish high school or go to college. But I love proving people wrong,” and he did. After high school graduation Brett attended one year of college at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. “I wanted to prove to everyone and to myself that I could do it if I tried hard enough. Giving up was never an option-it takes me a lot longer to learn new things, work machinery etc. Your disability only holds you back as much as you let it. For instance, it took me two years to learn to drive a car, but I wasn’t going to give up.”

It is because of Brett’s tenacity that he never let his disability get him down or keep him from trying to reach his goals. Today he is married with two children and just finished building his first home. “I’m so blessed to have these opportunities that God has given me, and I don’t ever take for granted how hard it was to get where I am today.” Brett joined NRCS in 1992 working at the Crowley Watershed as a WAE.

By 1995, Brett moved down to Galliano where he worked at the Plant Materials Center (PMC) as a Biological Science Technician Aid until 2002. Brett’s main duty consisted of maintaining greenhouse facilities, to include plant weed care, building maintenance and organization.
In 2002, Brett had the opportunity to apply for Mail Clerk at the State Office in Alexandria and he got the job. “It’s hard to learn new things, but I won’t let that stop me. I work with some of the greatest people here at the NRCS, and my co-workers are always willing to lend me a helping hand.” When asked what he likes best about his current position at the NRCS, Brett said,

Brett Mann, Mailroom Clerk

Brett Mann, Mailroom Clerk

“I like helping people, I get a lot of satisfaction when I feel I have helped someone, whether it’s loading boxes, sending out the mail, or cleaning vehicles, I always try to do my very best. I’m very passionate about doing a job and doing it well-that’s how I was taught.”

Brett has had his challenges, and has had to work double to get where he is, but he would not trade a minute of it. “I’ve never felt sorry for myself; I can do anything anyone else can do, although it might take me a little bit longer.” Brett has always loved the outdoors, and his hobbies include hunting and fishing with his dad and friends. He also likes to do yard work and play soccer with his children-anything that will lead him to the outdoors. “I love my job at the NRCS and I love the people I work with- I wouldn’t trade it for the world!”