Derek Allen’s history with Starr Commonwealth goes back ten years when he started as a Youth Specialist on the Albion campus fresh out of college. After leaving to serve as a Special Education Teacher, he returned four years ago to serve as a Senior Clinician, then Associate Director, and now as the Director of the Starr Global Learning Network. Derek says he has made giving to Starr a priority over the past few years.
“For me, working at Starr is not a job; it’s a mission and I want to support our efforts in every way I can, including financially,” he says.
While Derek feels that all of Starr’s programs are important, his particular focus is on the programs that make up the Starr Global Learning Network: The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children, Glasswing, and Reclaiming Youth International. In addition to providing administrative leadership to these programs, Derek also serves as a Senior Trainer, Consultant, and Facilitator, traveling throughout North America sharing the lessons of these programs.
When asked about the difference he sees Starr making, Derek responds, “It is no exaggeration to say that I have personally seen Starr’s programs transform the lives of young people and bring families together. It is powerful and very humbling to be a part of that work and to see it in action.”
Seeing first-hand the changes that Starr has been able to make in communities across the country has made Derek appreciate every opportunity that he has been blessed with, and has made him want to give back. “I didn’t grow up like most of the kids who are served by Starr. I was blessed with an incredibly loving, stable, and supportive childhood. So much love was poured into me as a young person that I feel like I was being prepared all along to give back to those who didn’t have that same experience.”
You can become a donor like Derek by visiting www.starr.org/donate today.