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Glen Upshaw Jr.

Pathways Intervention Specialist

Glen Upshaw, Jr.’s journey to Youth ALIVE! isn’t simple. A native of Oakland, he traded in school for the streets by 9th grade. “Things got rocky for me as a youth,” Glen said. Rebellious by his own definition, he is using his own experiences with being incarcerated to help others avoid or escape the path that leads to the loss of freedom and so much more.

“I mentor,” Glen , Intervention Specialist for Pathways, said. “It is crazy because the name Pathways,” the program he works with, “resonates with me because I look at it as I try to present other pathways to the youth. I want to show them there are other ways to do things. Patience, there is plenty of time, you have a lot of life to live. I’m trying to present pathways to the youth.”

He brings his whole self to his work. His experiences, including his many identities as formerly incarcerated and mentor, as father and son. In fact, his work in violence prevention and intervention, which started in 2017 in a volunteer rather than work capacity, is a family affair. When Glen joined Youth ALIVE! The staff included his father Glen Upshaw, Sr. “Working with dad, I’m still learning from him.,” Glen said. “He is a wise man, I look forward to catching gems when I’m around him…When I was young , he was a great teacher then but I had this wall up. I wish I would have listened to him but I’ll definitely listen now.”

The biggest challenge for Glen is balance. He was volunteering his time to young people before he joined the Youth ALIVE! Staff so he struggles to turn off of his phone, to not engage on the weekend well beyond his work shift. “There isn’t enough time in the day, not enough time in the shift, “Glen said. “This is more than just a job because I was doing this for free before I worked here. If I can help a person, I will. I don’t want to help someone just cuz I’m at work.”

Headshot of Pathways Intervention Specialist Glen Upshaw Jr.