Heart-stricken by the income and housing disparities that so many were experiencing across Southern California in the early 2000s, Brad began volunteering at Chrysalis. At the time, his career in the entertainment industry allowed him to connect with fellow Chrysalis champion Rebecca Gayheart Dane, who originally inspired him to get involved.

In 2002, Brad joined Rebecca and a small group to create the Chrysalis Butterfly Ball, an annual gala honoring a Chrysalis client alongside leaders in film, television, fashion, and music that has raised over $18 million to date.

His dedication to changing lives extended beyond the annual event, however. Over the span of his career, one of Brad’s significant jobs was that of an LAUSD teacher. There, he would acquire the skills that would inform his path as a volunteer at Chrysalis. When he first visited one of our centers, he saw the need to disrupt the cycles that lead folks to homelessness. More than helping someone find a job, he wanted to empower people to find self-sufficiency and stability. As a volunteer, he took on a role facilitating a class focused on job-readiness skills and stress management. In this capacity, he truly found his stride. His years of teaching would give him a knack for helping clients navigate their individual barriers to employment.

Today, he volunteers in a virtual capacity. “I love the grit and determination they have,” says Brad of the clients who tune in to his job-readiness courses. “Every time I finish a class, I feel inspired.” Each week, he shares his time with people who are actively navigating a rapidly evolving labor market as well as ensuring that they meet their basic needs – such as getting food on the table. What particularly stands out to Brad is how hard clients will work to attain their goals while completing Chrysalis’ program. “They are people who are taking care of other people and trying to find a job,” he shares.

Brad is consistently amazed by the tremendously hard work our clients undertake as they make strides toward self-sufficiency. He also admires the courage it takes for someone to walk through the doors of a Chrysalis center and give it their all.

Most important to Brad is contributing to an atmosphere where clients are treated with respect and dignity. “When you walk through the doors of Chrysalis, you feel like a human being. It feels great to be a part of that.” While his career and volunteering may take him in different directions yet to come, he will always be a champion and supporter for those navigating barriers and work toward creating an equitable society for all. Outside of his role as a volunteer, Brad is a strong advocate for social justice. Currently, he teaches public policy at UCLA and his research and media firm RPM is “accelerating good by connecting thoughts to actions,” specifically by advocating for policy changes in sectors that have exacerbated poverty and the expansion of mass incarceration over the years.

The Volunteer & Program team is currently recruiting volunteers to support clients – please click here to learn more.