Jeremy Kazanjian-Amory is serving his second year at St. Stephen’s Youth Programs as the College and Career Program Coordinator and the Capacity Building Coordinator Senior Fellow
1. How have you seen yourself grown personally and professionally since your first year of service with MPF?
The amount that I have grown during my two years of service can’t be quantified in just a couple sentences. That probably seems like a cop out to some, but I truly believe that MPF has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life so far. I have been able to grow not only professionally, but also in the way that I see and understand the world. I have come to better appreciate all the challenges that exist for students in the education world and be amazed by the resiliency in all the teens I work with. My passion for educational access has only intensified, and being able to be present in a community of other passionate Fellows has allowed me to learn so much. In addition, having such amazing support from my supervisor, SSYP staff, Colleen, Cecelia, Katy and Lauren has also allowed me to reflect on how I can continue to grow in the years ahead; something I am truly grateful for.
2. Who is your biggest role model and what makes them so special?
Without a doubt the most rewarding part of being a youth worker are the relationships that you are able to build with the young people. Whether it is when you are trying to do your work, and the 5 years olds think you and your desk are a jungle gym, or when you are able to celebrate with a teen’s family over their high school graduation, it is what makes this field so unique. It is so amazing to see the young people every day and be able to help them learn and grow. In all honesty, I end each day having learned so much from the young people that I work with, making it a truly humbling experience.
4. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind at your host site this year?
When all is said and done, I want my legacy to be based in the fact that the young people are more supported now then they were when I started. Basically, my goal is that the programs will have grown to a sustainable point, where students in grades 6th through 12th, as well as our alumni, feel supported in achieving their own dreams. That and the 12 ft. statue of me that my host site plans on building are what I hope will define my legacy.
5. What is your dream job and how is MPF contributing to your future career aspirations?
My dream job is to be the Executive Director for a non-profit that focuses on working with teens around future planning, goal setting, professional development, and other programs. I feel so lucky to be serving at a site that embodies these goals and programs, so that I can continue to learn from both my supervisor, Liz Steinhauser, and the Executive Director, Tim Crellin. MPF has made an incredible impact on helping me with the steps towards achieving this goal, having allowed me to not only build my network here in Boston, but also in thinking through my own strengths, and how they can be best utilized in this work.