Faith, a Philadelphia native, is actively involved in serving her community through volunteer work with the AmeriCorps VISTA program at a local non-profit organization called Students Run Philly Style and the ASPIRE program at Penn. Faith believes that to be a member of a community is to be a citizen of it and that it is imperative to contribute time, energy, and ideas to improve the community and care for its well-being. She looks forward to bringing this approach to the SNF Paideia Fellows cohort, uplifting the values of dialogue, citizenship, service, and wellness.
During her experiences with the Asian Cultural Association and United Minorities Council in high school, Faith gained an appreciation for navigating difficult conversations and learning from others’ perspectives. At Penn, she has continued to engage in meaningful discourse across difference. For example, Faith volunteers with the ASPIRE program, a high school mentoring program that aims to provide a safe space for a diverse group of students to discuss identity, culture, and social issues affecting the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. This year, they have had conversations about complex topics such as identity, representation in media, hate crimes, and the model minority myth.
I am interested in the SNF Paideia Fellows program precisely because it values dialogue. I have always been someone who has been drawn to dialogue, and I love thinking deeply and philosophically about different issues and ideas in the world. The SNF Paideia Fellows Program will be a great opportunity for me to more formally learn skills that are essential to transformative, meaningful dialogue. I will be exposed to plenty of topics that I am less familiar with but interested in learning more about through conversation.
Faith is pursuing a degree in urban studies, with an emphasis on urban education, economic policy, and Hispanic studies. She hopes to work in the School District of Philadelphia and eventually become a leader in the field of education, impacting educational policy. As a graduate of the Philadelphia public school system and a current mentor to students in the district, she is inspired to be an advocate for the city’s youth. Faith hopes to effect change in the education system through participating in dialogue and learning from community members and leaders while voicing her own opinions and standing up for what she believes in.