This month we are teaming up with the Minnesota Alliance with Youth to celebrate Promise Fellow Week! The Minnesota Alliance with Youth hosts 200 Promise Fellows who are also delivering the Five Promises to youth through providing academic support services. In 2013-2014, Promise Fellows in both Massachusetts and Minnesota have contributed 339,114 hours of service to communities in both states and have collectively served 7,763 young people.
In addition to serving young people at city agencies, non-profit organizations, and schools, Promise Fellows also inspire these youth to give back to their communities. In Massachusetts, we’re thrilled to have just hired the fifth Promise Fellow over the course of our history who was inspired to serve because of being mentored by one of our Fellows as a young person. One of these individuals, Carro Hua, has just committed to a second year of service as a Massachusetts Promise Fellow shares her story of her decision to become a Massachusetts Promise Fellow below.
“What happens when a school is not a place where you can see yourself in the curriculum, like looking into the mirror and seeing nothing? When I needed a space to belong, to have a language for things that were happening to me, and to engage me in the community, Massachusetts Promise Fellows at the Asian Voices of Organized Youth for Community Empowerment (A-VOYCE) were my mentors that taught me things that gave me life. They taught me the histories of struggles and activism of both Boston Chinatown and Asian America, the realities of urban issues and the power of one’s voice. Most importantly, they instilled in me that you can return to and should work in your community and it is your duty to make sure the community is better for all of us. About seven years later I return to my neighborhood, Dorchester to work with youth who see the Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Viet-AID) as their community space as I did with A-VOYCE. Over this past year I’ve learned what it means to build on the strengths of my community and address issues with my neighbors. I have learned to facilitate the difficult conversations about our community that the larger society taught us to separate from. I have a deep commitment to the young people and the community of Dorchester, I am grateful every day to be learning from these community members and imagining how youth power can change the realities of our lives. Through the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship, I am able to create spaces where young people can think critically about their lived experiences and community and fulfill their duties to better our community.”
-Carro Hua, Massachusetts Promise Fellow, Classes 15 & 16
Thanks to Carro for her service and to the hundreds of other young people across Massachusetts and Minnesota who will be inspired by their Fellow mentors to serve their communities!