We recently celebrated the second outgoing Fellows cohort in true 12+ fashion – gathered in the living room of our CEO’s home, surrounded by food, flowers, and photos to remind us of the year. Congratulations to each of you Fellows for the completion of the Fellows Initiative! You have had countless conversations with students, shared innumerable stories, and filled many rooms with laughter. Whether you are moving on to opportunities near (as close as within 12+) or far (across the country), you will always have a home in Philly at 12+.
Where will they be next? Read below for details, final reflections, and advice to future Fellows!
ALEX -- University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration
This experience also allowed me to re-affirm what my strengths are and not second guess them. I am a developer. I am a counselor and healer. I am an educator. These are the things I am taking away from this year and I will forever be proud of being a part of 12+.
JULIA -- Visit Center Coordinator in Communications and Marketing at Drexel University
It has been a roller coaster of a year and a great learning experience. I believe that this Fellowship has and will help me with any future career...Getting to know the students and seeing them grow and mature throughout the year has been a humbling and wonderful experience.
DUSTIN -- Harvard Graduate School of Education; Technology, Innovation and Education
12+ isn’t just at the frontlines fighting the disparity in public education. 12+ is in the homes and hearts of the Penn Treaty and Kensington Health Sciences community. Our names will be written onto the memories of our students...We are counselors, mentors, brothers, mothers to these students, invited to pool parties and introduced to baby siblings, whispered secrets.
AELITA -- Staying with 12+!
You come in and you want to help, and sometimes it takes a moment of conflict to learn that to help is not to do, or to attempt to live a life that is not yours to live. You are just a visitor in our students’ lives, so listen and support, but do not presume to know.
JAZZMIN -- Admissions Officer, Pomona College
Improvisation was a big part of supporting our students. Many situations we had puzzled even experts in things like financial aid or college access and it meant that we sometimes had to be creative and okay with ambiguity. Our students are complex, sometimes difficult, but always worth it, and I think this experience threw me into figuring out how to best help them overcome at least some of the obstacles on their way through high school and into a postsecondary track.
CHRISTINE -- Staying with 12+!
Every point throughout the year can be a learning opportunity. If you let your pride get in the way, it often times leaves you discouraged and frustrated. But humility, grace, and perseverance helps you not only breakthrough perceived barriers, but also to build your own confidence as you make strides forward. As I look back on this year, although there are things I think I could’ve done better, the only things that stay at the forefront of my memories are the times of laughter, closeness, and victories that I experienced with my team and my students. It reminds me that at the end of the day it’s not about me, but the students we serve, and moving forward, I know that this year has only better prepared me for the year(s) to come.