Eric Dobbrastine

Eric Dobbrastine

GEAR UP Program Coordinator, Office of College Access Initiatives

E-Mail: dobbras1@msu.edu

Department Web page: https://upwardbound.msu.edu

Born and raised in the Lansing area, Eric is very passionate about Lansing and helping its young people realize their full potential. He loves the diversity that exists within Lansing and wants the city to be a place that people are proud of and where everyone is able to thrive.

After graduating from Grand Ledge High School, Eric attended Lansing Community College for two years before transferring to Michigan State University. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Park, Recreation and Tourism Resources and a Master’s degree in Sustainable Tourism and Protected Area Management, both from MSU. Eric was part of the Peace Corps Master’s International program, serving in the Peace Corps in Uganda as part of his Master’s program. He worked with the indigenous Batwa people on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (home of the endangered mountain gorillas) in southwest Uganda, assisting with income-generating projects and educational programs, including teen camps focused on empowerment, leadership, and life skills.

Through his diverse work and volunteer experiences, including leading summer camps with Lansing Parks and Recreation, working as a Youth Advocate at St. Vincent Children’s Home, volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club, and serving as a Big Brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters, Eric has discovered a passion for working with young people. This led him to the position of 4-H Program Coordinator with Michigan State University Extension, where he served youth of Ingham County for nearly 6 years. Eric successfully advocated for his role to focus specifically on the Lansing area and engaging traditionally underrepresented and underserved youth in impactful 4-H youth development programming. He worked extensively with partners in the Lansing School District to deliver a wide spectrum of programs to students both during and after school. He also helped to establish and advise a statewide 4-H LGBTQIA+ teen group focused on developing leaders, educating communities, and making 4-H more welcoming and inclusive for all.

Eric is thrilled to continue working with youth in Lansing and helping them to become their greatest selves in his role as a GEAR UP Program Coordinator. He is also thankful to remain part of the MSU community that he loves so much.