Mallory Fuller’s calendar is overflowing.
She began working about a month ago as youth services coordinator for the Youth and Family Services branch of the town Department of Health and Human Services.
“So far I have been meeting with different town departments, including the schools and the police, to learn how to best address needs,” Fuller said. “I went to a K-12 meeting last week and met all the counselors. I’ve gotten them different resources about getting a therapeutic mentor.”
“I’m also doing a lot with the food bank, reaching out to a new cohort of kids to get them started as volunteers, and supporting food security for kids.”
Fuller said she connects with youth up to age 18, often in conjunction with counselors in the schools, for one-to-one counseling or alongside the therapist from the Eliot Center.
“There are a lot of groups between school and community that meet to work on youth-related issues, and Mallory is now part of the Bedford Community Partnership and the regional mental-health team, chaired by Lester Eggleston Jr.,” the schools’ counseling director, said Heidi Porter, who heads the Health and Human Services Department.
“Mallory has done great work putting her name out there, and people are coming up to her right away,” she continued. “We talked early about trying to focus on the needs of the community, and that includes using data.”
Fuller earned an undergraduate degree and a master’s in community social psychology, both from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, her hometown.
But she says her associate’s degree from Middlesex Community College was central to her educational path. “Middlesex was a good foundation for me out of high school; it paved the way,” she said. “I feel I wouldn’t be where I am today without MCC.”
Her first job out of graduate school was with the probate court in Concord, NH, working on guardianship and involuntary commitment cases. “It was an interesting job to have right out of graduate school. I’m glad I got the experience” she said.
She returned to Lowell as an intensive care coordinator and therapeutic mentor with the Wayside Youth and Family Support network. “I got to really know a lot of families, creating goals, identifying what they wanted to achieve,” she said. “It really was a rewarding job.” She also worked with low-income youth, ages 14-24.
For the past four years, Fuller has worked as a career advisor at the MassHire Career Center in Lowell, including some time working with individuals affected by the opioid crisis. She said she hopes to incorporate “a piece of career readiness” in local young people with whom she gets to spend time. “I can help them with job search or with volunteering.”
“We hear from [the] after-pandemic survey, an interesting data point was whether youth have a trusted adult to speak with,” Porter noted. “It’s remarkable that some kids feel they really don’t have that. Mallory is another avenue for making connections with Bedford youth.”
Fuller said she is looking forward to “connecting with the kids, being a safe space for them.”
She noted some upcoming departmental highlights, including a dinner and discussion about LGBTQ+ issues, planned for March 20, and programming on mental-health first aid.