Hi! My name is Sahar Momand and I am a second year AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow serving at Girls Inc. of Lynn where I coordinate college access programs for high school students. This short, one-line sentence, also called an elevator pitch, was one of the defining orientation activities in my first-year of MPF last August.  Simple as it might seem, this one line incorporates both my service and the partnerships I am affiliated with that make the work possible.

As a second year Fellow, I feel comfortable describing my program and can be clear about what I am doing and my role at both my host site and within MPF. Yet I remember being very intimidated by this work and all my roles. After graduating from Mills College in Oakland, CA with an undergraduate degree in International Relations, I interviewed with my host site, Girls Inc. of Lynn, and with MPF over Skype and on the phone. I never visited the place I would be serving and I didn’t really know anyone in Boston. My decision to make the long trek out from California was entirely based on the positive impressions I received about the position. When I read the job description and talked to my future supervisor I could tell this was an opportunity to positively impact young people,  engage a community through service, and put my college degree to good use. This was a position in which my experience and skills would be valued.

I was impressed by MPF’s mission of empowering young people in Massachusetts through education, a safe place, a healthy start, mentors, and volunteering opportunities. Excited, but unsure of what the year would bring, I committed to a year of service. Ultimately, I got more from the year than I ever expected. At Girls Inc. in Lynn,  I worked with an amazing group of young people, volunteer mentors, and co-workers and  through MPF, I met similar-minded Fellows also dedicated to service, with incredibly supportive supervisors to help, and amazing professional development opportunities to grow.

This year I am continuing my position at Girls Inc. of Lynn have taken on the role of a Senior MPF Fellow. As part of my Senior Fellow role, I will be writing and working with my fellow Fellows to document some of our experiences as Massachusetts Promise Fellows. In this introductory blog post I also wanted to incorporate some of the other 2nd Year Senior Fellow experiences and insights.  Below are a few quotes from a couple of them:

Catalina Tang, Fellow Engagement Coordinator:

MPF has provided me numerous and unique opportunities to grow personally and professionally. It has connected me to a larger network of valuable resources and like-minded passionate individuals in the field of youth work that fuel my work with teens. I look forward to seeing the growth of Viet-AID youth leaders developing leadership skills and a critical lens on their community, and most importantly I’m excited to learn from them this year! 

Ellen Reavy, Fellow/Alumni Liaison :

Serving as a Fellow is such a unique and very special opportunity. It’s amazing to be able to serve at a host site whose mission you care deeply about while being supported by the incredible MPF staff and all of your fellow Fellows! I feel so lucky to be a part of this amazing community.

Myself (in the teal) with some of the Girls Inc. staff and teens celebrating our Girls Inc. scholarship award winners at our annual luncheon.

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