20 in their Twenties 2022: Rico Francis

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(IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Social Impact Director, Pacers Foundation, Pacers Sports & Entertainment

Rico Francis started his career in Indianapolis as a leadership consultant for Psi Upsilon Fraternity, then moved to a teaching assistant role for Phalen Leadership Academies. There, he supported a team of fifth-grade teachers and more than 80 students before being promoted to regional recruiter. He went from Phalen to The New Teacher Project to recruit teachers. In May 2021, he was promoted to senior manager for consulting and worked part time for the Liber Institute, which works with indigenous students, families and educators to transform schools and communities they serve. He joined the Pacers in March with a mission to focus on partnerships with not-for-profits that serve vulnerable Hoosiers. 

Proud moment in your career? Recruiting the largest number of fellows in The New Teacher Project’s 14-year history and surpassed diversity goals.

What have you learned about yourself since joining the workforce? “That I can do it. Imposter syndrome is very real, and often when you are given incredible opportunities, your biggest barrier can be yourself.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? At the Pacers Foundation. “This is more than a job to me; it’s an opportunity to use the Pacers Foundation brand to do better for our youth, families and communities in need.”

Favorite social media platform: Instagram 

Favorite podcast: “The Bored of Ed”

Netflix recommendations: “Lost in Space,” “Shameless” and “Stranger Things”

Go-to coffee order: white chocolate mocha 

Morning person or night owl? night owl•

Check out more 20 in their Twenties honorees.

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