Melissa Flanigan Brost ‘01

Alumna of the Month –  November 2021

When did you start at Viz? Do you know why your parents chose to send you to Viz?
I started at Viz in 7th grade. My parents were private school kids (DeSmet & St. Joe). Although the women in my family were scattered throughout various schools in the area, I had some very active aunts with Viz. They knew that it would be the exact academic fit & challenge that I needed to excel. When I was accepted, my parents had to take me from my world of boys and friends kicking & screaming. I didn’t know a soul at Viz. They were undoubtedly correct- I am thankful every day that they made this decision for me!!!
Where did you go to college after Viz, and why did you choose that school?
I went to Regis University in Denver, CO. Multiple reasons why I chose it: family alum, great scholarships, geography, a wonderful visit as a Senior, and because the Regis recruiter used to camp out in our cafeteria and was such a great resource- do they still do that?
What is one of your favorite Viz traditions or experiences and why?
Gosh, there are so many to choose from! The whimsical Maypole ceremony, our fun Carnivals, talent shows, field trips, sporting events, dances & mixers. My fave would have to be the annual field days. I know every school typically ‘does’ field day but none are like ours. We often ended up mud-covered, bruised, and got cleaned with awful hoses but it was the best time ever!!!
This month’s virtue is Gratitude. Can you reflect on what you learned about Gratitude at Viz and how that impacts how you embody this virtue in your daily life as an adult?
Absolutely! I think it is easy to get lost in the vanity and materialism that live among us. Viz was the perfect blend of diversity amongst those ideas. They taught us how to be appreciative of the quality of education and opportunity provided to us. Viz especially emphasizes the importance of serving our local community through acts of service. To this day, I have a morning gratitude routine and believe it’s important to keep myself and my children involved in helping our community.
Are there any significant skills that you learned that you can attribute to your time at Viz?
Almost all my important skills were crafted at the Ballas Palace! No kidding. For starters, I had far more homework than anyone else I knew at other schools. Between playing sports and later working a job, it taught me the ultimate lifelong art of time management. Also, when I went to college, I felt far more prepared than most of my peers. They were crying about writing five-page papers and I felt like Viz had us ready to roll those out in our sleep. Not to mention, they strengthen us in an almost indescribable way to be confident in our feminine skin. I now work in an extremely male-dominated environment (I am the only female in my position in the nation), and it bothers me none!
What is something you are most proud of?
I never thought I’d be featured in an alumni publication; I can definitely find pride in this honor! Honestly, it’s not my success in my career that is my pride, it’s what I can provide for the next generation. If I can help my boys to be more caring, more charismatic, have more opportunities, and make other people better than they left them, then my job is done!  If only I had girls, then I’d know for sure where they would be going to high school.
What is something you hope to accomplish in the future?
I hope to be able to continue to add time to community & volunteer projects. I want to be sure to surround myself with people with whom we can make each other better in all aspects. If I can leave one person better on this earth because of our time together, that’s a win. I hope to collect many wins as time goes on.
If you could share one piece of advice with Viz students, what would it be?
Appreciate these amazing friendships you are making and nurturing, and keep them going for life if you can. Our small class sizes are perfect for this! I made the mistake of moving on from high school quickly and focusing more on college relationships (which are lifelong as well), than professional ones. Granted cell phones were still a new idea back then and MySpace (yep, that’s right) was in its infancy. I did not do a great job of keeping those high school friendships alive and I hope you can learn from that mistake. Vivettes are one of a kind and should stick together!!
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