Meet the 2017 Young Professional of Year Award Nominees: Justin Brown
Justin Brown is a twenty-eight-year-old professional in the human service field. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Justin has moved throughout the state to further his career. Justin’s professional background includes over ten years of experience working with both adults and children with developmental disabilities. Justin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services / Counseling, and is currently enrolled in graduate school to attain his MBA.
Justin developed and maintained a grant-funded transition program for high school students with special needs. In an eighteen-month span, the program was able to provide transition services to two-hundred students in the eight counties surrounding Wilkes Barre. Most recently, Justin was promoted to the Executive Director of the Pocono Region of Community Options, Inc., which is based out of Drums, Pennsylvania. In this role, Justin oversees both the residential and day programs, which includes ten homes for adults with disabilities.
Valuing the importance of community involvement, Justin is active in several organizations, including Leadership Wilkes Barre, Blue Chip Farm Animal Rescue, the Chamber of Commerce in both Wilkes Barre and Hazleton, and assisting with employment work groups. As a firm believer that everyone is entitled to life-enriching opportunities, Justin’s goal is to help facilitate and provide residential and employment services to individuals with disabilities throughout our region. About this aspiration, Justin says, “Every person has the god given right to receive enriching and empowering opportunities.”
Q: What does being a business or community leader mean to you?
A: Being a community leader means so much to me. Being involved ensures that changes can and will happen within our community. Being a strong servant leader allows for my voice to be heard. I am always putting the feelings and will-being of others before my own. I want to be the voice of every person who is afraid to stand up and be heard. As a community leader I strive to be a strong advocate for people who cannot speak or do for themselves.
Q: What advice would you give to young professionals in Greater Wilkes-Barre who want to have a positive impact on the community?
A: My advice would be to get involved and put yourself out there. I would teach young professionals to be heard and be part of their community, Whether its events with local agencies or volunteering. I would also recommend to do a lot of research about your community. Research upcoming events and be part of them.