Interns, take heart. Your job running that copier won’t last forever – just for the semester. Consider the case of David Brown, who came to Washington in 1978 as an intern working on juvenile justice issues at the then-crusading, and ( like most crusaders, now dead) National Youth Work Alliance. He landed that unpaid assignment thanks to interning during high school at the Westchester, N.Y., County Youth Bureau. Two jobs, no money. Things didn’t look promising for Brown’s ambitions to have a career in the youth service field. But, as of July 1, he’ll be executive director of the National Youth Employment Coalition, moving up from the deputy’s job he’s held since 1998. He replaces Alan Zuckerman, NYEC’s beloved-by-all executive director since 1992, who is moving to South Africa to work with several youth development organizations.
The 22 years between interning to heading a respected high-profile national youth organization were not idle ones. Brown, finally on someone’s payroll, steadily rose from a youth worker in Peekskill, N.Y., to juvenile justice, youth employment and youth development assignments in New York City, Maryland and (really, this is worse than being an intern) at the D.C. Youth Services Administration.
Prior to joining NYEC, Brown spent six years at the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practice, working on school-to-work, juvenile justice, national and community service and other youth-related issues. Brown’s promotion was widely anticipated. Still Brown, noted for his sincerity, greeted the decision by stating that he was “humbled by the confidence” of the NYEC’s board, staff and membership. With an annual budget now totaling $1.3 million, a staff of nine-plus interns and a rapidly shifting topography in the youth employment field, Brown, say his supporters, has the political savvy to complement his personal humility. Contact: (202) 659-1064.