Ever wonder what Philly Fellows alumni go on to do? In the ‘Alumni Spotlight’ series, we’ll introduce you to our program alumni, their work, and how they benefited from the Philly Fellows program. This post features Maggie Stohler, who served as the Communications & Events Associate at Philadelphia VIP.
Name: Maggie Stohler
Hometown: Dresher, PA
University: University of Delaware
How did you decide to become a Philly Fellow?
The service learning opportunities I was afforded at the University of Delaware through alternative spring breaks exposed me to direct service and volunteer work throughout the country. I knew I wanted to pursue a year of service with AmeriCorps after graduation. But beyond service, I was looking for a meaningful year of meeting new people and creating a community in Philadelphia, where I’m from. I found Philly Fellows through a Google search and it was the perfect fit, combining a year of service and community living with lots of networking opportunities and a professional development track.
What was your favorite part about being a Philly Fellow?
I really loved my host site and my housemates. It was always wonderful coming home at the end of the day to a group of people who could empathize with the ups and downs of the day’s work. We shared lots of experiences together and they are still some of my closest friends! I also just loved my host site and still frequently visit just to stop in and say hello. The experience was a great introduction into the nonprofit sector in Philadelphia and a wonderful first real job.
What were some things you did as a Philly Fellow that prepared you for the things you’re doing now?
I gained a strong communications skill set that I’ve since leveraged into multiple positions I’ve held since my Philly Fellows year. I also think being an AmeriCorps alum has significantly helped me when job searching, as well as networking.
Do you have any advice to those interested in applying to be a Philly Fellow?
Feel free to reach out to program alums before applying. Have a strong interest in the nonprofit sector in Philadelphia, but be open when it comes to your work and host site placement. Most important, demonstrate a commitment to service!
What would you consider your biggest success(es) since Philly Fellows?
After Philly Fellows, I was accepted to the New Sector Alliance’s RISE Fellowship program, where I worked at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics under David Axelrod.
A huge plus to this program is getting to live & work in Philadelphia’s vibrant communities. What did you like about living in the city? Where did you explore?
I really love Philadelphia. Even though I moved away after the program, I plan on returning as soon as I can. Our house was in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, but we always made an effort to go bowling in Northern Liberties, to live jazz in Center City, and every street festival on South Street and in the Italian Market. One of my favorite events in Philly was the Broad Street Run – our house made signs and cheered on runners as they ran by!
Are you still in touch with other Philly Fellows (present or alumni)?
Yes! One of my fellow housemates, Chelsey Lowe, and I were so inspired by our service and nonprofit experiences together that we started our very own podcast called The Brink of Impact, a podcast that energizes young people to explore careers in social impact.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’d probably say cereal! I could eat cereal anywhere, any day, any time.
Maggie Stohler is currently a Communications Associate at Impact Engine in Chicago IL, where she oversees all inbound and outbound communications, digital marketing, and social media outreach. She is also the host of the podcast The Brink of Impact, a podcast energizing young people to build careers in social impact.