To say Courtney Brown is thankful, would be an understatement.

Courtney is our Program Director at Larkin Street Academy. She’s thankful for finding this job, for the support she had growing up, and for the opportunity to now pass along her experiences to the 500 or so young people that are part of the academy.

“My job is rewarding, it’s interesting, it’s challenging, and it definitely feels like I’m making a difference in the world.”

Courtney’s world is surrounded by young people seeking change, stability, and a future. She helps youth find direction through education, the arts, and employment opportunities.

“It’s really important to give them a sense of value and to root for them, to give them support, to see how much they can contribute to the world. Larkin Street Academy helps people do that.”

Working with young people experiencing homelessness is a personal mission. Her brother has experienced homelessness on and off for 15 years.

I see a lot of the struggles that he’s had in the youth we have here. And I wanted to help other people similar to him.”

Though the majority of young people in the academy are 18-24 years old, some who walk through our doors are as young as 16!  Courtney also says many young people experiencing homelessness have been mistreated or exploited in their lives and Larkin Street’s goal is to help them find their paths.

75% of the young people in our programs exit and move on to having successful futures.

“When you see youth feeling safe, expressing vulnerability, and over time you see them build up people skills, their strengths then really shine.”

Courtney sees her future at Larkin Street Youth Services. It’s a place where young people can find themselves. And Courtney can be that guiding light.