Hanh Lam is a First Year Fellow serving at Regional Environmental Council as the Garden Education Fellow

1. What inspired you to do a year of service with MPF?

What inspired me to do a year of service was the commitment I had for my host site, the Regional Environmental Council (REC). It has been 10 years since I first started working with REC as a 14 year old youth in their YouthGROW Program. The family like atmosphere has inspired me to continue to work for them after all these years. So, when the opportunity to serve as a Massachusetts Promise Fellow was brought up to me, I was really excited to continue working and growing with REC. As a youth in the program years ago, I had a Fellow who told me all the great things MPF had to offer. I was excited to meet new people, participate in professional workshops, and get an education award at the end of my service year. Although the pay for being a Fellow doesn’t always speak my language, the youth and the community I serve do!

2. What has been the most beneficial training MPF has offered so far, in helping you become a successful youth worker? 

I really enjoyed all of the training MPF has offered. One that has resonated with me particularly has been the workshop on Classism. This workshop  has helped me better understand the disadvantages and barriers many of the people in our society face, but particularly our youth. So as a youth worker I am more than committed to help identify some of these barriers and knock them down to better serve the youth in my community.
3. Describe your favorite project at your host site and why. ?

My favorite project at my host site is coordinating our School Gardens Program. I have been able to work with 27 Worcester Public Schools and day care centers, which has been enjoyable. I’ve been really excited about all the new projects I get to take lead on in this program. One in particular is working on a pilot project to start up a Roof Top Garden Internship with the high school I attended, Claremont Academy. It’s been really great to go full circle in my community with the work I have been doing with REC the past couple of years, but especially this year.

4. Who is your biggest role-model today and what makes them so special?

My biggest role model today is my mother. From giving birth to me during an air strike, coming to America as a refugee, and putting four kids through school, my mother is one strong woman! She was faced with many challenges, and whether she ended in failure or success, one thing about her was that she never gave up.

5. How do you practice self-care?

I practice self care by enjoying all the joys in life. Whether they are big or small, I take time to enjoy the company I am with, the atmosphere around me, and the food I consume everyday.

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