Jeeyoon is a First Year Fellow serving as The Pathways Coordinator at ZUMIX.
1. Who has served as your greatest support system this year?
My family has always trusted me in my decisions and supported me through every hurtle, which I assure you, is no easy feat. Today I want to put the spotlight on the two who are my family when my biological one is far away. I could never give enough hugs to my roommates, Nina and Melissa.
I am blessed enough to have best friends who leave baked goods with love notes in the kitchen for you to find when you come home from your late work hours, pick up the slack when you forget to feed your turtles, and snag tickets for a spontaneous road trip to Maine to see some of your favorite bands because you were in a meeting when they went on sale. They remember the names of every youth in the stories I tell and they ask for updates. Despite whatever storm came my way this year, I’ve always had the most happy, cozy, and loving apartment to call home.
2. What is the biggest lesson you have learned from serving at ZUMIX this year?
Be yourself, because whatever it is that you are, that’s what got you here.
Walking into my own hiring interview at ZUMIX….nervous would have been an understatement. Between the voice in my head and the over-welcoming nature of ZUMIX itself, something told me that it was OK to be 100% myself, so I ran with it! I distinctly remember pausing in the middle of an answer to say, “I’m really sorry, I just have a lot of feelings!” Being yourself isn’t always easy but it’s something I’ve been doing for every moment of every day at ZUMIX. I’ve learned to trust myself and to put my own spirit into every workshop and every project I am a part of. Without the heart and spirit of the individuals inside, ZUMIX wouldn’t be ZUMIX at all! It’s the people that make the place and it’s the people that make the experience. So be yourself, it’s what you know best.
3. If you started your own band today, what would it be called?
4. Where do you see yourself in five years?
At this point, I think the universe could take me anywhere in five years time. Wherever I end up, I’ll be writing and telling stories. That I know for sure.
5. Why would you encourage others to join the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship?
Now that it’s halfway over, I can confidently say that joining the The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship was the best post-grad decision. If you’ve ever considered a year of service, now is the time! I was blessed enough to be placed at ZUMIX and there are 30+ other amazing organizations that you could be a part of. Especially for recent graduates, MPF is a great way to take a dip into youth work and you’ll never feel like you dove off of the deep end. MPF gives you so much support and the structure they have built is extraordinary. As someone who considered numerous AmeriCorps programs over the years, this was the one for me. This year has quickly changed my course and I have never felt so sure about the path I’m on. Work with young people, it’s the right place to be.