Director of Planning and Community Relations
at the Center for Youth
BY ASHLEY COOPER | PHOTO BY RITA LAVECK
“I’ve always believed in taking risks,” says Tamu Brown-Hutchinson, director of planning and community relations at The Center for Youth. Unarguably, Brown-Hutchinson’s dauntlessness has served her well.
Apart from securing an abiding career at The Center for Youth, Brown-Hutchinson’s level of community involvement outshines even the busiest of bees. She currently serves as treasurer of the National Black MBA Association (Western NY chapter) and also as legislative aide to City Councilperson and Executive Director of The Center for Youth Elaine Spaull. Brown-Hutchinson has additionally lent her services to the reputable “Women Helping Girls” program (an extension of the Rochester Women’s Network) for which she received the highly-revered “Businesswoman of the Year” award in 2009.
Did I happen to mention that she’s also a mother of four? Brown-Hutchinson credits her second-nature adaptability and ability to successfully multi-task as saving graces in juggling her many roles. She also has a rare incentive to accept new challenges as they come.
“I’m an avid learner,” Brown-Hutchinson says of herself. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and Economics from SUNY Brockport and went on to attain her Masters of Business Administration from University of Rochester. An enthusiasm for learning aided her in entering the Center for Youth in 2001 as a temporary employee to six years later landing a position as director of IT and resource management. As of August 2011, Brown-Hutchinson is thriving in her station as director of planning and community relations at The Center.
Located on Monroe Avenue in Rochester, The Center for Youth is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide young people, ages 12-21, with the resources they need to manage issues of prevalence. From crisis intervention to emergency housing, prevention education to street outreach, additional support for students to transitional living and confidential counseling, services at The Center for Youth are free and confidential. This year marks the agency’s 40th year as a functioning organization.
While Tamu Brown-Hutchinson still maintains a role in The Center’s IT, data input and management, research, social media, and technology services, her new responsibilities as a leader include amassing volunteers, coordinating events such as the Rochester Fashion Week 5K on July 7, and supervising fund-raising endeavors.
Behind every successful woman is a driving force, and for Brown-Hutchinson, it’s her unwavering faith. “I think each one of us is blessed with our own gifts,” she says, “we have to be sure to use them.” She went on to mention that she is most gratified at The Center for Youth by the opportunity to serve others indefinitely.
Brown-Hutchinson’s actions are justified at the end of the day when she knows that she has invested in something greater than herself.
The everyday successes, or as Brown-Hutchinson refers to as, “little wins” of the young people at The Center, are what keeps her motivated, what continues to propel her to promote and champion the organization. She credits the example of her mother, her aunt, and her maternal grandparents, who emigrated from Jamaica in the 1950’s, as being primary influences in her life. According to Brown-Hutchinson, they have proven to her the invaluableness of hard work, perseverance, and selflessness.
Colleagues of hers call Tamu Brown-Hutchinson a natural leader, a “go-to” sort of individual that continuously radiates a positive energy and a zest for serving the community. After speaking with her myself, I must enthusiastically affirm their claims. She is marked with all the qualities that great leaders are born with: compassion, generosity, amicableness, dedication, and great expectations.