After graduating from Jesuit High School in 2002, Alan went on to become a civil and criminal lawyer in his hometown of Sacramento. In the ensuing years, however, he realized that he had something growing up that many young people don’t have – a stable and supportive family.
The support he received as a youngster is the driving force that has caused this young barrister to become an involved role model for local kids at McClatchy High School. Alan is an assistant coach for the JV baseball team at McClatchy.
“Being there” for the next generation of high school students is something he doesn’t take lightly.
“My father was always my mentor growing up,” Alan said. “A lot of kids don’t have that and end up getting steered in the wrong direction. If I end up being half the father my dad was to me I will be happy.”
And while Alan, 27, has no children of his own yet, he and wife Katy are both active in the lives of young people. Katy teaches dance to pre-schoolers, which takes a far greater degree of patience than teaching baseball to high schoolers, Alan joked.
Alan and Katy have known each other since both were young children and they both share the same values when it comes to helping kids. Alan knows all too well how badly things can go for kids at such an impressionable time.
“In criminal defense, I was introduced to a world that I didn’t even know existed,” he said. “By the time (these kids) hit my desk it’s already too late sometimes.”
“Just go do it. Get off your rear end and do it. There are so many people needed,” he said. “Pick a direction and go — you will find someone who needs you. The hardest part is getting started. We all have scheduling conflicts, but once you get started, you will be hooked.”
That’s what happened to him. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara and then McGeorge School of Law, Alan got in touch with an old friend. That old friend was Anthony Crawford, head coach of the McClatchy JV baseball team. He began working with the team as an assistant three years ago and he has been there ever since.
Alan sees sports as “absolutely vital” in the development of children. While sports in itself is fun, he tries to stress that there are life lessons to learn within sports than can help kids throughout their lives — lessons such as teamwork, friendship, success, failure and selflessness.
“It’s really rewarding,” he said. “Some of the guys I had as freshmen are seniors now. I have seen huge growth in them in that time.”
Alan also tries to help students see that there is more to school than just being popular. He wants to teach them that they can associate school with something positive, rather than view it as a necessary evil.
“When I went to Jesuit, grades were never an issue,” he said. “At McClatchy, grades are always a struggle. Sports and clubs demonstrate the value of going beyond mediocre. Kids see the value in applying themselves. Boredom breeds mischief, so it is important to find something that they enjoy.”
In addition to the coaching gig at McClatchy, Alan also volunteers at Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep, a law charter school, helping to teach future law students proper courtroom etiquette and how a trial is run. He has worked with the school three days a week for the past two years.
“It’s infectious helping others in a team environment,” he said. “There are so many other forces in the world trying to draw these kids the wrong way, so it feels good to work with them.”