Fellow of the Week – Rachel Collman

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Rachel is serving her first year with the BPHC Start Strong Initiative

What inspires you to serve?
My family has always been my biggest inspiration. My triplet brother who has cerebral palsy and is Deaf continues to accomplish amazing things and my mother has always been his tireless advocate. My father, a doctor, has and will always be the most generous person I know. My sisters both serve: one as a first-grade teacher, and one in the field of international relations and conflict prevention. My family continues to be my models of service in their work and personal lives.
What is your favorite part about serving at your host site?
Besides getting to engage with an impressive group of teens each day, my supervisors and coworkers provide a supportive space for me to grow. They keep in mind my personal well-being and help me achieve my professional goals. Knowing I have the support of my team makes me work harder for the teens I’m lucky enough to serve.
What has been your biggest personal or professional accomplishment so far this year?
I’m very proud of the flexibility and resilience I’ve proved to myself over the past year. After leaving a job that I moved to Boston for, I transitioned to pieced-together part-time work as a bookseller and nanny until I found MPF. Although I don’t miss my mismatched 60-hour workweeks, it taught me to keep working hard no matter the circumstances because it was what I had to do until I made it to BPHC.
What is your dream job?
In my wildest dreams, I’d want to combine my two loves: youth work and cooking. I’d create a community-based youth program that taught young people cooking, business, agricultural, and mindful-living skills all on an economically and environmentally self-sustaining farm. But that dream may be too far-fetched, so my realistic dream is to be a facilitator of young people’s sexual health education and relationship development.
Describe the greatest adventure of your life.
My move to Boston from my home state of North Carolina has been my greatest adventure so far! I came up here literal days after graduating college, knowing no one, and diving right into a new job. MPF has given me a cohort of change-makers to connect with and wish I had had it sooner. While I miss the Southern hospitality I grew up with, Boston now has a place in my heart.
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