For years, Bravo has been dishing out the drama with a few of the most successful reality series on television. From Real Housewives of Atlanta, to Married to Medicine, a lot of the network’s hit shows have been filmed right here in Atlanta, GA. Now, with Bravo’s newest addition to the roster, you’ll never be able to look at PTO moms the same again. Mother Funders, a show about the ups and downs of being a dedicated wife, mother, and full time PTO member, is taking reality TV to a new level. This group of feisty women want nothing more than to raise money for their children’s school, but as expected, they run into a few roadblocks along the way. I got a chance to sit down with one of the cast members, Mrs. Amber Bryant, and she had plenty to say about the cutthroat world of the PTO. Click below for details!
Amber, the wife of former NFL player Fernando Bryant, also happens to be an honorary volunteer for her local Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO). Aside from being a Supermom to three kids, (including her stepson and nephew), Bryant is also a Montessori elementary school teacher. When I asked her how she’s finding time to balance everything with her newfound celebrity, she had this to say:
“This has already been a point of contention in my house. Learning how to balance that. Basically what I’ve done is put a calendar on the refrigerator, and write everything down, so i don’t miss a moment, a practice, a recital. And I got a crock pot, because I’m married to country man and he likes to eat every night. I’ve enjoyed every minute of this, but it has been a challenge, I think most in my household, because my husband was always been the one in the spotlight, so that dynamic changed a little bit. So that has probably been the most difficult thing.”
So how did Amber even end up on the show with such a full plate? She says the President, Ms. Carla Stephens reached out to her.
“The president of the PTO is a friend of mine and we are colleagues. We are both in the trucking industry, and own a trucking company, and she approached me like, “Hey, I need some dynamic ladies that can help me and know a lot of people in the community that will be able to raise funds and raise money for the school.”
Amber didn’t hesitate to hop on board. She has a lot of connections, and is very well known on the Atlanta social scene. I asked if she felt like the ladies were using her.
“I don’t think they’re taking advantage, but when you’re raising money in ANY organization, you’re always thinking about who can bring in more money, or get some people to volunteer, or bring in some big names. So I don’t look at it as a bad thing at all. I’m used to helping my husband with his fundraising as well, so I’m used to it. I’m not bothered by it at all.”
Though Amber is willing to lend a helping hand to those that need it, oddly enough, none of her children attend the school that she’s helping to raise funds for.
“I’m an educator. So I know how important education is. So when she came to me, I thought, my daughter will be there in a couple of years, why not take this chance to get into the school, see how they do things, meet some teachers, so that when she does get there, they’ll already know who she is, and she’ll have a foot in the door.”
“I’m a person that lives in the moment, so when we were filming, I probably said some things without thinking about them. My greatest fear is wondering ‘Lord what did I say to that girl?’ My biggest fear is not being able to edit myself.”
As with any reality show, there’s always a “Queen Bee.” Word on the street is that PTO President Carla Stephens is the one to watch out for. Bryant however, says she isn’t bothered by Carla’s aggressive personality.
“I love Carla. I’ve worked with her in the corporate world as well, and she’s the same in that boardroom. She’s a pistol, she’s a strong woman, and she goes after what she wants. I can deal with a lot of personality types. So she gets the job done whether you like it or not.”
While Bryant admits that there was some tension between a few of the ladies, she says that she never really had those problems.
“I was the one that kind of got along with all of the ladies. I really didn’t get into a whole lot of drama. If we didn’t agree, we didn’t agree, and that’s OK. There was nobody in particular that I bashed or went at.”
Amber says while taping the show, she had the opportunity to learn a lot about the way reality TV works behind the scenes.
“I am a reality TV fan. I watch all of them. I’m a huge Bravo fan. This was an eye opening experience. This is a job. We have to be places at certain times, and be in order. There’s not just a camera following you around.”
It’s not all just glitz and glamour for the self-proclaimed “Stiletto Mom”, she plans on using her platform to make a difference.
“I have a program that I developed. It’s a life skills class. It’s an after school program. I developed it at my school and took it to a couple of other schools, here in Henry County. So that’s what I’d like to push. And hopefully it will catch on nationwide. I just feel like kids aren’t learning the basics.”
She says she wants viewers to know that the cast members aren’t just reality stars.
“We are a group of educated, passionate women who want to raise money for our schools. We know that we need technology in the schools, we know that there are certain needs, and we want to be able to fill the gap.”
On whether or not she regrets becoming a member of the PTO…
“Not yet,” she says followed by a hearty laugh. Hopefully, she still feels that way after the show airs! You can catch the season premiere of Bravo’s Mother Funders on June 14th at 9/8c.
Amber will be live tweeting, so make sure you follow her at @AMBERACE25