Kayla Henkel’s profession is dear to her heart.

Henkel learned about Brain Balance Achievement Centers, a non-medical, drug-free program with locations around the U.S., when her brother, who has autism, became involved.

She tried the program for herself in college, and once she graduated, she began working for the Cary, North Carolina location. Her passion for helping children reach their full learning potential only grew from there.

When Henkel’s family opened Brain Balance Center of Naples, she took on a leadership position at 23 to help families struggling with learning, behavioral or social skills.

“Starting in a management position at age 23 was difficult because I was constantly questioned about my credentials,” Henkel says. “I have learned to counter those doubts by always maintaining professionalism and continuing to learn as much as I can to increase my level of success in my position.”

Henkel, who received the 2018 Rising Star Director award for her work ethic, encourages people who are just starting their career to work hard and give yourself time to develop their strengths.

“The best advice I can give to someone starting his or her career is to have patience as you grow your skillset and move up the corporate ladder,” Henkel says. “If you stay committed to a company and show that you’re there for the long haul, it will be worth it when your dream job becomes available.”

Henkel loves Disney and spending time with her family. She is happily married.