By Bradley Sanders

Staff Writer

With only graduating just seven months ago from the University of West Florida, Maura Little is already creating a name for herself. While being the marketing & communications coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, she is a vital part in this beloved nonprofit organization.

Little is not a native to the panhandle area, actually being born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. Laura had no interest in becoming a Gator at the University of Florida. When she was touring colleges in the state of Florida she wanted to choose a university that felt right, and where she felt like she could grow the most from. The University of West Florida was Little’s decision, not UF, FSU, or UCF.

“Touring UWF for the first time felt like I made it home,” Little said. “I knew UWF was the place for me to lay down my roots.”

The fall of 2013 is when Little started her journey with UWF. While in her first semester, she was taking a speech class which was taught by a graduate assistant. This graduate assistant saw something in her and encouraged her to join the speech and debate team and become a communications major.

Little received her bachelor’s in communications in 2016 and was at a difficult crossroad. She didn’t have too much experience in the field to obtain a career job, but she did have phenomenal grades. After having an inspiring talk with Professor Athena du Pre, Little was on her way to graduate school to further her education. In just two years, Little had now obtained a master’s in strategic leadership and communication.

During her time at UWF, she joined a group called Undergraduate Board Fellows, which is no longer around. The group was consumed of board members of different nonprofit organizations in the area, each student who was asked to join was then placed with a nonprofit for a year to work and learn from them. Little was placed with BRACE, Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies. There whole mission was centered around preparing communities for disasters. Her time with BRACE was significant, she learned major networking skills and established many relationships with affluent members of Pensacola. The CEO of BRACE at the time was the person who referred her for her current position.

Now being the Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, Little is definitely climbing the ladder of success with no one getting in her way. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is centered around changing children’s lives by matching each one of them with a caring adult to guide them on the path to success. In her position, she is responsible for all aspects of their social media, websites, press releases, graphic design, media planning, and even does speaking engagements. Little describes her job as being the ‘firefighter’ of the organization. Little even has her own intern to show someone else the ropes.

When asked about her future, Little was willing to share her plans and thoughts.

“I’m a millennial, of course I am going to move throughout my life,” Little said. “I’m a lifelong learner, and education does not stop because I finished grad school. I still has so much I want to learn.”

When Little is not advancing in her career, she can be found with her husband, which they just got married two weeks ago. Both love volunteering with Animal Allies, which is basically them socializing with cats to help them get comfortable around people and better suited for adoption.