Fellows of The Week: Carro Hua & Priscilla Diaz

We are switching things up this week and giving you DOUBLE the love. That’s right TWO Fellows of The Week – because sharing is caring. Find out more about Second Year Fellow Carro Hua and First Year Fellow Priscilla Diaz below.

Carro is a Second Year Fellow, The Community Building Senior Fellow, and serves at Vietnamese-American Initiative for Development, Inc as The Youth Civic Engagement Fellow. 

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1. What is the greatest lesson you have learned from serving two years in The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship?
The greatest lesson I’ve learned from serving two years is that the work can be discouraging and draining for many different reasons. The work can be really discouraging because we live in an inequitable, and complicated world but with a supportive community I believe we can move forward together. It is important to honor those challenging experiences and process them and remember that we are never alone in this process of movement building.
2. What have you loved most about being a Senior Fellow?
I loved being able to facilitate our MPF learning space around community building, social justice and anti-oppression. It is a really powerful experience connecting with Fellows through these topics and push each other to learn, question, challenge and grow. I appreciate being able to help the community center social justice in our work by facilitating different activities and discussions.
3. How do you hope to continue your relationship with MPF in the future?
I hope to connect with future MPF fellows and hope they will invite me back to facilitate workshops on social justice!
4. What are your favorite forms of self care and/or creative expression?
I love giving myself manicures, choosing a nail color and painting helps me stay present and not just think about work. It was of the different ways I practice mindfulness and staying present. Recently I have also picked up writing love notes to my good friends from college and out-of-state. Writing cards to them allow me to count my blessings and stay connected.
5. Why would you encourage others to join MPF?
I definitely encourage others to join MPF. It is an awesome community of youth workers and the emphasis of community is so important in the work that we all do. I also love that MPF centers social justice in our work so if you are looking for an intentional community that loves youth work and commits to social justice in our daily lives, you can find a home here!
Priscilla Diaz is a First Year Fellow serving as The STEM Fellow at 
North Shore Community Action Programs/Salem Cyberspace. 
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1. Who has been inspirational to you this year? Why?

I have two people that have really inspired me to grow a lot this year, Estrella Diaz (my sister) and Carro Hua (a fellow). They both have pushed me to challenge my ideals, level of comfort and think as part of a community. During this year, I have been able to explore deeper into my values and what the values of my community are. Estrella and Carro have helped me to grow as an individual and a citizen. Through their wise words and interesting conversations, I have been inspired to do more than what I ever thought I could do.

2. What has been your proudest moment this year?

In one of my programs, I have a student that would be termed “the bad student.” He was not productive or active most of the duration of the program. He would constantly get in trouble and have countless after-school detentions because of his behavior. He used to justify the consequences of his actions by saying, “all my teachers hate me; they don’t get me.” I would try to talk to the student and understand the reasoning behind his actions. After long conversations almost every day, I got to know the student –Great personality. One day, towards the end of the program, he comes into the classroom and tells me, “today I am going to do all my work.” That day, he really was determined to work hard; he finished a 3-day project (that other students were working on) on that one session. He was polite, active and productive. I was so proud of him and all the effort he put into his work. It made everything totally worth it.

3. When you are feeling stressed – what is your favorite form of self-care?

I love dancing! Whenever I dance I am happy. I go to the dance studio, clubs or even my living room by myself. The music and the movement take all the stress away and charge me up. Some days I am more tired than others, and it is harder to push myself to get off the couch, but I am always glad I did.

4. Where do you see your career taking you in the next five years?

Soon I will start a research position at a hospital. Through that experience and network, plus studying for the MCAT, I will prepare a strong application for Medical School and embark on my career as a doctor. It has always been my career dream to become a doctor, and after this fellowship year, I am more than prepared to go back and pursue the plan.

5. Why would you encourage others to serve in MPF?

During MPF, you will be lucky enough to meet the greatest group of people and work with them towards the same goal. MPF has a lot of resources and opportunities; they meet you where you are at and take you through an amazing year filled with professional development, personal development and supporting/caring relationships. It is a good way to transition from a young adult to your professional self; and other aspects of life in general –experiencing the professional world, maintaining healthy relationships, moving out for the first time or to a different state, becoming self-sufficient, becoming aware and getting involved in social issues.

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