Dual degree (CDP/MBA) 2nd year student Sam Bryson-Brockmann can be found managing a youth internship program at the Clark Community Thrift Store, attending IDCE Student Association meetings as the CDP representative, or brewing coffee at a local Starbucks. He is a Long Island native and graduate of Drew University, with a degree in History and Pan-African studies.
After graduating from Drew University in 2011, Bryson-Brockmann became an elementary school math teacher in Kansas City through Teach for America, a program that ensures children in underserved populations receive excellent education. It was during this year that Bryson-Brockmann’s passion developed for youth programming, specifically for children in these underserved communities.
Bryson-Brockmann chose Clark University’s IDCE department for its unique dual degree program, as well as its location. With a desire to start his own nonprofit in the future, he knew the importance of having a strong understanding for theory and best practices in the non-profit sector. A degree in Community Development and Planning, mixed with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, was the perfect combination for Bryson-Brockmann. Viewing Worcester as a city with potential, the location was ideal for him to begin studying and working.
Bryson-Brockman had a passion for thrift stores even as a child, volunteering with his mother at a thrift shop in Freeport, NY. He started volunteering at the Clark Community Thrift Store upon arriving to Worcester, working as a business advisor during his first year at Clark. During the summer, Sam was hired as a manager for the Clark Community Thrift Store, overseeing volunteers and sorting through the vast amounts of donations. Sam currently organizes and runs a youth program in partnership with the Regional Environmental Council’s YouthGROW program, an urban agricultural-based employment program for low-income teens. The youth program at the Clark Community Thrift Store is the only site through YouthGROW that is not within the Regional Environmental Council.
Currently, YouthGROW students at the Clark Community Thrift Store are conducting a market analysis under the guidance of Bryson-Brockmann. They are researching other thrift stores in the area, and analyzing demographics to get a better understanding of the supply of and demand for gently used items in the area. This market analysis will be presented for the public in the coming months. Bryson-Brockman believes that with these skills, YouthGROW students will be better positioned for a job in the future. Out of the eight students participating, two have already found jobs.
Bryson-Brockmann’s goals involve further research on corporate social responsibility, labor and supply chains, and job growth in underserved communities. Through his time with Teach for America and the Clark Community Thrift Store, Bryson-Brockman sees great importance in preparing young people to serve their community through their future careers. If they can begin in the growing retail and service industries, as in the YouthGROW program, he believes they will be better prepared for college and their future careers.
For more information on the Clark Community Thrift Store, please enjoy this video segment from Worcester TV’s ‘Hank Stoltz Experience’, featuring Gus Meissner ’14, and Sam Bryson-Brockman, ’14: