March’s Advocate of the Month: Brad Papineau

Teen Feed's Brad Papineau, March 2013 Advocate of the Month

Brad Papineau goes the extra mile for youth in need…literally!

Brad has been volunteering with Teen Feed for a decade, supporting youth as a volunteer in program and in leadership on Teen Feed’s Board of Directors, sharing his warm smile and positive outlook at every turn. Brad provides caring connections for youth as an Advocate volunteer, not one, but two nights a week and has served on Teen Feed’s Board of Directors since 2006.  Wow. Brad even ran in the Seattle Marathon and raised over a thousand dollars for Teen Feed… twice! And if you have ever been to a Teen Feed event with music, you can find Brad and his buddies entertaining the crowd… sometimes in colorfully striped pants. Basically, Chuck Norris has nothing on Brad Papineau.

How long have you been volunteering at Teen Feed?
Since Laura started the YMCA weekend drop-in 8-10 years ago.

Why/how did you get involved with Teen Feed?

I started volunteering at the YMCA weekend drop in in the U, but I couldn’t do weekends anymore. I still wanted to help street involved youth so I started volunteering on Thursday nights at Teen Feed. After a while Luciann (Board Member)and Eric (former staff member) approached me about joining the board. When Luciann asks you to join the board… well, you join the board!

What is your favorite thing about volunteering at Teen Feed?

Connecting with people. There isn’t anything more rewarding than meaningful interaction with another person.

What do you like to do outside of volunteering?

Soccer and skiing – actually, I spent many months skiing back country Alaska. I drum in a band, Far Corner, who plays at many of Teen Feed’s events. I also play a little piano.

What did you eat today?

Cereal, chicken sandwich, and water.

What have you learned from volunteering at Teen Feed?

I have learned a lot over the years at Teen Feed. I have learned about the challenges the young homeless community face. I have learned about the causes of homelessness. But the most valuable thing I have learned is that “homeless” is just a label. It doesn’t say anything about who a person really is. In the end we are all just people trying to figure it all out.

Thank you for being such a consistent, positive, and passionate part of Teen Feed, Brad! Your dedication is an inspiration to us all. To learn more about the Teen Feed’s Advocate volunteer program, click here.