The Mayor’s office has appointed a new coordinator for Mattapan and parts of Dorchester: Walter Apperwhite, 41, is a familiar face around Mattapan, best known as the Vice President of the Mattapan Patriots Pop Warner football team.
Apperwhite replaces the longtime coordinator, Freda Brassfield, who has been promoted to the department of Finance and Administration department in the Mayor’s office. The two announced Apperwhite’s new position at the monthly R.O.C. (Redefining our Community) Neighborhood Watch meeting in Codman Square on Thursday, May 20.
Hailing originally from Four Corners, Apperwhite is a middle child and only son of an MBTA train driver and a teacher at Roxbury Community College. Apperwhite and his family moved to Mattapan during his senior year at Boston Latin School, where he graduated in 1989. He would later attend the University of New Haven, where he majored in Broadcast Journalism.
“My mother is the smartest person I know,” said Apperwhite. “There was always a stress on education in my home...always a knowledge that you were going to college.”
During his time in college, Apperwhite served as the president of the school’s Black Student Union and was involved in the youth activism group, Project REACH.
After graduating college in 1995, Apperwhite began working as an organizer at the ABCD Family Service Center in Mattapan Square where he focused onissues of drug abuse and gang violence.
“Community service was a way of life, and a family” said Apperwhite. “The relationships that you build in the community last a lifetime. Organizations come and go, but those relationships remain.”
Apperwhite worked with ABCD until 1998, when he joined the a local initiative, the Community Partnership for Mattapan. One of the goals of the partnership was the return of the Mattapan Patriots Pop Warner team after an extended hiatus. A lifelong football enthusiast and player, Apperwhite would go on to coach the Patriots after their return in 2003. A father of four, he also encouraged his children to join the squad. He would rise to the position of Vice President for the organization in 2009.
“Football was always a way for me to push the limits of what I could do,” said Apperwhite “At the partnership, we wanted to make sure that our kids had that opportunity to compete against some of the more affluent neighborhoods.”
Apperwhite moved to Roslindale in 2005 while staying abreast of happenings in Mattapan. He has also held a variety of jobs in between his civic involvement--from security to the football coach at his Boston Latin.
“The job is very demanding, but I plan on connecting all the pieces and being a responsive to people’s needs” said Apperwhite. “I’m excited to be a resource to the community.”