Meet Amy Gray—Boston Outreach Worker and BU Alum

“As cliché as it is, I know that I want to make a difference, and to put good into the world,” Amy Gray, 22, said.

Like so many college students, Amy, a BU alum, had no idea what she wanted to study. She was initially drawn to athletic training because she was heavily involved in sports throughout high school and college. Ultimately, her personal family experiences helped her realize that public health education was her calling. 

Having had a history of addiction in her family, her education helped her both come to terms with her personal history as well as help others struggling with similar issues.

“As I proceeded through the health science program, I was able to grapple, learn, and heal personally, as well as determine an idea of a professional course,” said Amy.

Amy graduated from BU this past May with a Bachelor’s degree in health science; she also minored in education. She recently started working as an outreach worker for a local mental health non-profit, where she helps people in need of assistance find jobs, medical providers, and housing, among other things.

Though she has only been in the position for a short time, Amy finds serving the community an extremely rewarding and eye-opening.

“I love that my first 'career' job involves gaining hands-on experience with how life impacts so many [people] so differently,” Amy says. “I love being able to help individuals that have experienced all different life circumstances get back on their feet.”

Still, Amy says that her job can be frustrating, especially given how complicated it can be to get people what they need.

“There is so much bureaucratic tape [preventing] people [from getting] the help they need,” Amy says. “Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of necessary steps that need to be taken in order to ensure that [state- and federal-funded programs and money] are used properly, but it does get frustrating being on the other side waiting for someone to get the help they need.”

In terms of advice to offer someone looking to get into the field, Amy says it’s best to start at the grassroots level to get a feel for the work and to get the necessary hands-on experience. 

“It gives you an opportunity to get to see how the policies that you learn about in lectures actually affect the population,” she says. 

As for her plans for the future, Amy admits that her freshman year confusion has returned in the past few months of her post-graduate career. Though she’s not set on a dream job, she has confidence in her intentions and is just focused on the present for now.

“I don’t know what that will look like in the future, but for now I want to do the best work I can for the people that come to the non-profit."

 

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