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Deborah Brown Bio

Deborah Brown, Certified Youth Mentor Coach, Portland, OR

Many people look back on their teen years, especially high school, as one of the best times of their lives. For me, it's the opposite. As a teen, I felt utterly lost, full of anger, and mired in self-judgment. My parents, who were preoccupied with their own marital conflict, put their attention elsewhere since, on the surface, I always seemed “okay.” But they didn’t know that I was engaging in risky behavior — including drinking, using drugs, skipping school, and hitchhiking as my primary mode of transportation. I was deeply unhappy but felt that there was absolutely no one in my life who cared to see me, acknowledge me, or guide me. Today, I believe that just one caring and supportive person can make a profound difference in a young person's life.


My previous education and professional career was in the design field, but I always held a deep interest in psychology and in exploring how we become the people we are. In the mid-2000s, I began to feel called to work with teens, who, like myself, were trying to find their way through the tumultuous landscape of adolescence. I trained to become a facilitator of Teen Talking Circles, and in the years since have been a volunteer mentor for various organizations focused on youth, including Seattle Youth Garden Works (now Tilth Alliance Youth Garden Works), Community for Youth, and Girls Inc.


In 2017, I returned to school and graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies focused on Adolescent Psychology. I also enrolled in the Youth Coaching Institute and became certified as a Youth Mentor Coach. Life coaching gives me tools to empower youth and watch them transform themselves. The more I experience it, the more I believe in it.


In addition to coaching, I work as a crisis counselor. I love to garden, make art, music, and explore nature around my Portland, Oregon home.

“Deb brings a humble wisdom that feels refreshingly authentic and easy to connect with. I’m so grateful for our time together. She gently held up a mirror which helped me see my potential more clearly—removing the haze of my inner-critic that had been obscuring my vision, and she offered a container in which it felt like my goals and ambitions were important and attainable. Through working with her I discovered how I was getting in my own way, what I could do about it, and moved through a funk I was in into a stronger place where I feel more confident in creating and accomplishing my dreams. I highly recommend coaching with Deb if you think you can benefit from a nurturing, honest, and kind anchor in your support system.”


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