Vianei Braun, an employment lawyer with Decker Jones, is a board member who loves exploring restaurants in the Fort Worth area, finding new music on Amplify817, and cuddling with her pack of rescue Chihuahuas.
Since moving from Houston, Vianei said she keeps finding reasons to love Fort Worth and the library, which is why she is proud to be immediate past chair of the board. One of her favorite library foundation programs is LaunchPad.
“LaunchPad is life-changing for young people,” she said. “They get help with their college applications and access to in some cases a full-ride scholarship. That can make such a difference, especially for young people who are the first in their families to go to college.”
When Vianei isn’t supporting locally-owned restaurants with her husband Jason, she can be found listening to Fort Worth artists through Amplify817.
“I personally love Amplify817 because I’m not from Fort Worth, so I’m learning about all the amazing local musicians,” she said. “It’s wonderful to have that ability through the library.”
Amplify817 has been an especially meaningful program through the pandemic because of its remote access. Vianei said that through the difficulties COVID-19 brought, the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation board has worked diligently to continue providing program access to the community.
“We’re blessed to have Andrea, our President & CEO – she’s doing an amazing job,” Vianei said. “She has an excellent relationship with Manya, the Library Director, and I look to them to keep us innovating.”
One of the most impactful and innovative programs is the checkout of mobile Wifi hotspots, said Vianei. She hopes to make the hotspots even more accessible because of how integral they can be in bridging the digital divide for less fortunate community members.
“It’s a big deal to help with the digital divide,” she said. “That’s so important, especially for students and job seekers who don’t have good internet access and are thus at a disadvantage. I’m proud the Foundation has been able to help.”