FELLOW OF THE WEEK: STEPHENIE HOU

Stephenie Hou

 

Stephenie Hou is serving her second year at the Old Colony YMCA Big Sister Big Brother Program as the Community Engagement Fellow and Public Relations Coordinator Senior Fellow 

1. What has been the greatest part about being a Senior Fellow?

The greatest part about being a Senior Fellow is being able to work closely with my Advising Group of seven Promise Fellows throughout the year and acting as a resource and “Coach” when necessary (my Advising Group calls me “Coach,” which I still think is hilarious). I appreciate being able to build relationships with Fellows one on one through small group meetings, hearing their stories of service and the passion they bring to their youth everyday. As the Public Relations Coordinator, it has also been great getting opportunities to challenge myself and practice my public speaking skills by facilitating trainings for Fellows on sharing their story of service and the importance of representing the MPF Brand in a positive way.

2. How has MPF prepared you for your future career aspirations? 

My dream job is to work in a non-profit organization that focuses on intergenerational programs with both elders and young children. I want to plan different activities and mentoring programs where elders and youth are involved because there are so many benefits for each population when they work together and it is something that I am really passionate about. My degree in Social Work from Bridgewater State University can also help me see myself as a case manager advocating for elders in the future.

MPF has prepared me for my future career aspirations through professional development opportunities which help me become more culturally competent, gain valuable leadership experience, network with other non-profit professionals,  and also gain confidence in my ability to create and implement workshops for my youth. Also, an amazing benefit to being a  Senior Fellow is that I am given $200 towards any professional development opportunity and I chose to use part of it towards a training on Intergenerational Issues in the Workplace and the rest will go to the 2016 Western MA Elder Care Conference in June, which I am really looking forward to!!!

3. What has been your favorite memory between both years of service?

My favorite memories from both years of service were made during the Fall and Winter Retreats.  I loved being able to get away for a few days and participate in team building activities that included challenging ropes courses in the Fall, seeing everyone show off their unique skills during our Talent Shows, engaging in various social justice trainings, building stronger relationships with my fellow Fellows and much more! Retreats were so much fun and I always left them feeling rejuvenated.
4. What are some of the most valuable life-long lessons you’ve learned from being in MPF?
Some of the most valuable life-long lessons I’ve learned from being in MPF comes from the trainings we’ve received during  monthly meetings. We’ve learned about topics such as Racism, Privilege, Youth Development, LGBTQIA+ communities, Finding your Fit post-MPF and much more. There are so many resources available, including hearing personal experiences from other Fellows and I plan on sharing what I’ve learned to anyone who wants to listen. I’ve also learned to develop a growth mind-set where I can take in constructive feedback, implement it, and also see challenges as opportunities to continuously grow personally and professionally.
5. Why would you encourage others to join the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship? 
I have a strong sense of loyalty to the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship because I was mentored by Fellows in high school and knew after graduating college that I wanted to serve as an AmeriCorps member. Without my youth mentors, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I would encourage others to join the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship because I think you really can make a difference in the lives of the youth and community you serve and there are also many great benefits! You get over 200 hours of professional development training, a $14,500 living stipend, loan forbearance, FREE courses at Northeastern University, and a $5,770 Education Award! You also get to be a part of an inspiring, supportive and fun community filled with passionate youth workers. If that doesn’t gauge your interest, I don’t know what would?! But seriously though, you should check out our website if this sounds like something you’re interested in!
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