The Division of Student Services’ Brigette Young already knew about the student side of CSULB when she graduated in 1992 with a BA in political science. Her view of the administration side has been a revelation since joining the university in 2000 as a development associate for the Associated Students.
“There is so much going on at CSULB that I never took advantage of as a student,” says the Redondo Beach resident. “We have tremendous assets here in our faculty and staff.”
Being a development associate brings a learning curve. “Associated Students is such a diverse organization. I’ve become a mini-expert in many different areas,” she says. “I have come to learn about the strengths within Associated Students and how to research potential funding opportunities. The more I know about the AS, the better I’ll know what challenges it is ready to take on. For instance, if a grant is being offered to promote early literacy among 4-year-olds, I have to know if the Isabel Patterson Child Development Center is prepared to take on such an endeavor or if I am duplicating efforts already in progress.”
The role of development will continue in higher education for years to come. “Look at Dr. Alexander’s commitment to building the university’s endowment,” she says. “It’s my job as a development officer to work toward building our resources to ensure students receive the best education.”
A development officer has to perform a balancing act of priorities. “I’m always looking to match ongoing projects, such as the Recycling Center, with funding,” she says. “The Recycling Center is student-run and primarily focuses on the university campus. But recent inquiries from local schools have prompted us to do more outreach and presentations on the environmental impact of recycling. To better accommodate elementary schools that wish to visit, I might look for financial support for projects like repaving the Recycling Center to accommodate a seating area for children. But it is hard to strike a balance between the center’s needs and what the donors want to give.”
Young’s road to CSULB began with her graduation in 1992 before beginning her career at the United Way and at Pepperdine University, where she obtained her master’s in education in 1997. After teaching kindergarten for two years, she joined CSULB.
Balancing assignments and multitasking are never far from Young’s mind. She is the mother of three children, Kanoa, Lokelani and Malina, with the latter two being 1-year-old twins!
Young is glad she chose CSULB both as a student and as a staff member. “I enjoy working for Associated Students and advancing the university,” she says.