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Home | 40 Under Forty

Allison Joseph: MY TURN executive helps at-risk youth

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

January 21. 2016 12:29PM

Allison Joseph, 32



Birthplace: Manchester

Family: My fianc (I just got engaged on Christmas!) Bill and I have a 17-month-old daughter, Violet. I have a brother and sister, and both of my parents were born and raised in Manchester. I am fortunate to have a large extended family in the area who I am very close with.

High school: I attended West High School for my freshman through junior years before transferring to the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Mass., where I repeated my junior year before graduating in 2002.

College/post grad degrees: I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Saint Anselm College.

Current job: Executive director of MY TURN, Inc.

Volunteer activities: As a career specialist my students and I regularly volunteered at the Salvation Army’s Kids Caf and with New Horizons Soup Kitchen. My schedule since accepting the role as executive director and having a child affords me less time during the week to volunteer with those agencies, but community service is an element of all of the programs we run, and I try to jump in on our student projects whenever possible. I also recently joined the Job Corps Community Relations Council.

Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: Opiate addiction is obviously a particularly pressing issue right now. Addressing the growing “skills gap” in order to keep existing companies in N.H. and attract new companies to N.H. is another problem we face as a state.

MANCHESTER — Allison Joseph of Manchester has been selected as a 40 Under Forty honoree by the New Hampshire Union Leader for 2016 for her role as executive director of MY TURN Inc., which provides case management, career guidance, employment skills assistance and job placement for at-risk youth in New Hampshire.

During her time as executive director, Joseph secured $1 million in federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds for the company.

Joseph, born and raised in the Queen City, deeply enjoys her work with MY TURN, which she first became involved with in 2007.

“I had recently graduated from Saint Anselm with a BA in sociology and knew that I wanted to work with young people who had some barriers to overcome,” said Joseph. “I was a few weeks into my job search when I came across a very vague newspaper ad — in the Union Leader, as a matter of fact — that said something to the effect of “Do you want to help young people achieve their goals?” and I thought, why, yes I do!”

Joseph was hired and given the option of running the program at Nashua South High School, or Manchester Central High School. She chose Central due to her love of Manchester because of “all of its diversity and opportunity.”

“I knew I had found my calling,” said Joseph. “I joined every committee and went to every training I could convince my managers to pay for to become the best career specialist I could be for my students. I loved that I was able to make an immediate impact. I saw my students’ grades and attendance improve, and their self-confidence and overall wellness increase. I am still in contact with many of my students from that first year — in fact, one of my former students was just voted on to my board of directors.”

Joseph attended West High School for her freshman through junior years before transferring to the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Mass., where she graduated from in 2002.

Joseph said she took on a leadership role at MY TURN during difficult times. The New Hampshire region of the company experienced nearly 100 percent turnover just before she took on the role of director of New Hampshire programs.

“I knew it was a make-or-break year, and without strong leadership there would be no more programs that I loved so dearly,” said Joseph. “Fortunately, we were able to stabilize and then grow the New Hampshire region while other regions continued to struggle. Two years ago I was given the opportunity to run the agency and jumped right in. I had no idea what I was doing at first, but with some luck and hard work I was able to stabilize the agency during year one, and now in year two I am proud to say we are growing again. Last winter we opened our headquarters in Manchester, after 31 years in Brockton, Mass., and we are thrilled to be based out of New Hampshire now.”


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