When she learned about the work of Valiant Cross Academy at a job fair when she was a student at Troy Montgomery, Nia Pagniacci was inspired to volunteer. Her passion for the school’s purpose grew, and now, she works there full-time as its Business Manager and Assistant Athletic Director. But it’s not a job. According to Pagniacci, it’s a blessing.
How long have you worked with Valiant Cross Academy? I started volunteering at the Academy in 2017 and haven’t looked back since. Something I wanted to give my time to turned into a career.
What does your job involve? I simply serve where needed. I am the right hand of the Brock brothers, taking care of a variety of business matters that may involve the operations of the school at each campus, the financials, fundraising, assisting and directing our athletic department, working closely with our flight ground school that assists our scholars in aviation education and speaking to our scholars during leadership-building sessions.
What makes Valiant Cross special? Before I even volunteered at the school, I attended Morning Village a few times before work just to start my day, and what an amazing and inspiring feeling it was. I would walk away with hope, spiritual enlightenment and positive energy that was contagious. There is a great spirit in this place.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work? Knowing that our scholars come wanting to do more than what is expected. We implemented a new program at school called the scholar assistant program, and since its inception, I have scholars coming right and left asking me, “Ms. P, how can I be a part of … ”. Seeing that ambition and push to excel is one of the best rewards.
What are your interests outside of work? I’m an avid runner and golfer. I am a military ambassador for international flight commanders and their families. I enjoy community outreach projects and revitalizing properties. And I’m also a radio personality and do voiceovers, plus I’m a dancer and model as well.