Her Foundation and Role as a Public Figure Inspires Many in Greater Palm Springs
Written By: Chelsea Raineri
Photographed By: Jane Chouteau Bianca Rae Foundation
From being voted Best TV Personality in Palm Springs, to creating a charity that benefits both shelter animals and young girls, Bianca Rae is truly bringing a “Rae of Hope” to those in need. Her mission is to give a voice to the voiceless by using her platform as a news anchor. In doing so, she has successfully saved countless lives of dogs and cats and given young girls the confidence and knowledge to become strong women. Bianca’s story is one of compassion, hard work, and above all, believing in herself despite opposition.
As a Chicago native, Bianca dreamed of one day moving to California. While attending the University of Missouri, she traveled to Hollywood during her summers to intern at E! Entertainment and KTLA. During her senior year, she attended a Journalism convention in Las Vegas to meet news directors from West Coast TV stations for critique and advice. Little did she know, this would be the beginning of her career. The fifth person she spoke to at the convention was the Assistant News Director at KESQ, the station Bianca works at now. She was flown out for an interview and offered the job on the spot, fulfilling her dreams of moving to California.
Bianca filled her early days in Palm Springs with volunteer work. As she was working at a local shelter, she met a dog named Jack. Although she had plans to adopt a dog later in life when she was settled down, she decided to adopt Jack at 22 years old. “All I can say is there was some soul-deep connection,” admits Bianca. She may have saved him, but he provided her with companionship when she was homesick.
Adopting Jack launched Bianca into the world of philanthropy. She read about charities, and started volunteering with local non-profits. Having always wanted to create her own charity, Bianca felt that her next step was to create a mission statement and move forward with her goal. By using her influence as a news anchor, she was able to create a charity, the Bianca Rae Foundation (BRF), surrounding her two passions: children and animals. Feeling that these two groups are often overlooked, Bianca uses the spotlight that is put on her to her advantage, “Because of my job as a public figure, people listen to what I have to say. That is a big power and responsibility that I have, therefore I am very delicate and precise about the message I send.”
BRF hosts various events to aid in rescuing shelter animals and teaching young girls about leadership, health, and inner beauty. This includes events like the Faith, Hope, and Pups fundraiser taking place on Feb. 19 at the Empire Polo Club that benefits designated animal rescues. BRF is also part of the No Kill Coachella Valley Initiative, which is made up of public shelters and private animal welfare organizations to reduce the killing of animals in shelters. These initiatives include transporting animals from kill shelters to non-kill shelters, an event that was funded by BRF.
In order to benefit young girls, BRF created the Rae of Hope Retreat where middle school girls come together to learn about leadership, self-love, and anti bullying from newscasters of KESQ. The retreat gives girls the opportunity to learn from strong female role models and mentors.
While Bianca not only runs her own charity, she also volunteers for other charities as well. This could be intimidating to some, but Bianca is able to balance her time between her job, foundation, and volunteer work. Using her planner and notes app on her phone, Bianca makes sure to write down everything she plans on doing, and is also very diligent about following through on her promises. She attributes her success to her family and her team, who she always makes time to see, “I believe you make time for people who are important to you.”
Knowing that success in her career and in her foundation go hand in hand, Bianca sees her organization growing as her career does, “I cannot imagine having this career and influence that comes with it without doing something impactful,” says Bianca. Regardless of where her journey takes her, Bianca plans to continually help shelter animals and young girls to see their full potential.
10 years from now, Bianca hopes that adopting a pet will be the only option people will have, “I hope my foundation can play some part in breaking down stereotypes and letting people know shelter pets are not always aggressive and mean.” She also hopes that public figures and celebrities will increasingly advocate for pet adoption.
In regards to her mission for young girls, she hopes that in 10 years she is able to have a farther reach in her impact, and be able to bring in high profile speakers, “I’m very excited for the future of the Bianca Rae Foundation.”
As for others who aspire to join the nonprofit world and one day create their own foundation; Bianca advises to find something that speaks to your passion and can have a unique impact. She also recommends reading plenty of books on leadership, management, and non-profits.
By not ever letting others’ doubt stand in the way of her dreams, Bianca continues to move forward in her quest in helping shelter animals find homes and being a role model for young girls.
“People often tell me I’m too naïve in life and live with rose-colored glasses on, and I take those as huge compliments because I believe the world needs more of that,” says Bianca.
Go Getter: Bianca’s favorite quote is a line from a Sugarland song, “I ain’t settling for anything less than everything.” With Bianca’s aspirations, she never looks at obstacles as problems. She’s always able to find a way to make her dreams work, “How else would a 24 year old be able to sit at Thanksgiving dinner with her whole family and say “I think I’m going to start my own foundation.”
Looking Forward: The 4th Annual Rae of Hope Retreat will take place Sept. 23 at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort and Spa. Registration opens this upcoming summer at BiancaRaeFoundation.org.
Small Screen, Big Dreams: Being a news anchor in Palm Springs has given Bianca incredible opportunities. She was fortunate enough to interview Matthew McConaughey at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, “He was very fun to talk to and we had a great rapport.” She also interviewed Reese Witherspoon and did extensive research on her films and production company in preparation. “I knew an interesting little fact about her English teacher that I could tell she was shocked I knew, she even got a bit teary-eyed during our interview… It was really a special moment,” says Bianca.
Native Knowledge: The No Kill Coachella Valley Coalition is comprised of various animal rescue organizations throughout the Coachella Valley, one of which is the Bianca Rae Foundation. Bianca’s foundation has become part of the transport sub committee, and has funded three successful transports to the Oregon Humane Society.
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