Stephenie Hou: Fellow of The Week!

Congrats to our Fellow of the Week: Stephenie Hou!
Stephenie is a first year fellow serving at The Old Colony YMCA of Brockton.
What is your favorite part about serving for the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship?
My favorite part about serving for the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship is waking up to a job that I genuinely love going to everyday. This year, I’m serving at the Old Colony YMCA where I help with recruitment efforts for the Big Sister Big Brother mentoring program as well as work with high school youth from Kidz Konnect Advisory Council on professional development and volunteerism. The youth I work with every week make this experience all the more worth it because from what I’ve seen, they are incredible leaders in the city of Brockton and are truly passionate about making a positive change in their community. They have so many great ideas and goals for not only themselves but for their city and I’m thankful that I get to be a small part of their journey in making a difference. 
Who inspires you?
My mom is the definition of a true hero and she inspires me every day. She is a strong, hard working, courageous, intelligent and beautiful person and I am more than blessed to have her in my life. No matter what challenges she’s been through, she always has a smile on her face and a positive attitude that outshines everyone else’s. My mom is an amazing role model to look up to and I’d be lucky to grow up to be half the woman she is today.
What are the greatest benefits of the fellowship?

Some of the greatest benefits of the fellowship is receiving endless support from MPF Staff, your fellow Fellows, your host site staff and your youth. There is always someone to turn to for words of encouragement, motivation, inspiration and to remind you that you are never alone. Another great benefit is that I am constantly in a learning environment because fellow Fellows and MPF Staff share their knowledge and experiences with one another throughout the year and as a result, I am constantly growing and becoming a more educated leader. Lastly, a final benefit is that the fellowship is providing me with an opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of those I’m working with this year. I get to create workshops for youth that focus on violence prevention and be a caring adult in young people’s lives.  

How has the fellowship impacted your career aspirations?

My dream job would be to work in a non-profit organization that focuses on intergenerational programs with both elders and young children. The fellowship has impacted my career aspirations by helping me gain experience working with different populations, including high school youth, gaining opportunities to network with other members of the non-profit community, creating and implementing professional development workshops for youth to enhance my leadership skills, and constantly helping me become culturally competent through different trainings and experiences provided by both my host site and MPF trainings. I am confident that the leadership and life skills I gain through the fellowship will help me be successful in the non-profit world.
What is the funniest thing a young person has ever said to you? 
This is such a hard question! I’ve been trying so hard to think about an answer for it, but I really can’t recall a specific funny thing a young person has ever said to me! Young people, no matter how old they are, always say the most random and hilarious things and that is why I love being around them. Whenever you spend time with a young person, it’s as if all of your problems disappear and you’re immersed in their world for a little while. So, I can’t really choose a specific memory (mainly because I can’t remember haha) but they do always have a way of making me and others around them smile.

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