Alan Arrington ‘03
“. . . Brimmer and May helped prepare me for my career by teaching me the importance of giving back.”
Brimmer and May Class of 2003
Morehouse College, B.A. in Sociology, 2007
Alan, a Senior Career Development Specialist for a Boston-based organization called Youth Option Unlimited (YOU), works with young adults ages 14-24 to help prepare them for a career.
What are you doing currently for a profession?
I am a Senior Career Development Specialist at an organization called Youth Option Unlimited (YOU) Boston. YOU is a workforce development agency that falls under the Mayor's Office of Jobs & Community Services in the City of Boston. Our mission is to help our clients become self-sufficient by equipping them with the skills necessary to find success in the private sector. A great deal of our members have juvenile and adult criminal records, so I coach them on how to maximize one's potential in spite of their past. I oversee the first two levels of our subsidized employment system. Level 1, also known as the Pre-placement Program, is a monthly, two-week job-readiness workshop in which I introduce new subjects daily and tackle topics ranging from financial literacy to professionalism. Level 2, referred to as a Bridge Team, is led by a YOU supervisor who oversees a team of 6-8 youth working on a community service awareness project. YOU partners with community-based organizations to provide meaningful work experiences that lay the professional foundation for these young people. My job is to provide support to our supervisors at their respective work sites and to ensure that each participant in our jobs program evolves and matures into a better person.
How did Brimmer and May prepare you for your career?
Brimmer and May helped prepare me for my career by teaching me the importance of giving back. I had the opportunity to be apart of the Community Service Club, and one distinct line that I recall to this day is, "Community service is the rent we pay for living." Although, I didn't realize the true power in that statement as a teenager, now I live by that quote on a daily basis. I believe that each and every individual is a product of their environment, and there are people you'll meet throughout the course of your life who shape who you are. My experiences at Brimmer and May played a pivotal role in my decision to return to Boston after college and to work in the communities I grew up in.
What led you to attend Brimmer and May?
I recall my visit to the School during the first few weeks of September, 2000. I was apprehensive at first because I didn't know anyone and wasn’t familiar with the area. I was taken aback by how friendly people were. No one treated me like a stranger. I've always felt welcomed, from the first time I walked into the Admissions office until the last time I walked out the Chase building as a graduate—Brimmer and May has always felt like home.
What are your stand-out memories of your time at Brimmer and May?
My fondest memory is the Interlocken camping trip in fall of 2002. I remember being blindfolded, along with the rest of the senior class, and dropped off somewhere in the woods near the camp site. We were left with only a map with directions back to camp and where to the cooler full of food. The challenge of working together made us closer as a class, and there were so many funny moments that occurred along the way. It was a great beginning to my senior year, and it's an experience that I will always cherish.