Ever wonder what it’s like to be a member of Philly Fellows? In the ‘Meet Our Fellows’ series, we’ll introduce you to our current fellows, their projects, and how they are benefiting from the Philly Fellows program. This post features Renee King, who is serving as the Outreach and Empowerment Coordinator at Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Name: Renee King

Hometown: Elmont, New York

University: Haverford College

Major: Chemistry minoring in Health Studies

How did you decide to become a Philly Fellow?

I’ve had a crush on Philadelphia since I started college but I never took the time to venture out and away from campus to introduce myself. I saw this as an opportunity to not only engage in meaningful work but to finally take time to enjoy and explore Philly. I was also really interested in the opportunity to work with Planned Parenthood; it was one of the few directly health focused organization listed but that was enough for me to apply.

Let’s talk about your project. What’s your site like? What are you working on? 

I work at Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania as the Community Outreach fellow. I get to build partnerships with local organizations in an effort to increase the visibility of our health centers in Delaware and Philadelphia county. A normal day for me is full of emails and calls and occasionally a meeting with organizations or program directors that are interested in having me come for a community event, to do basic Sex Education or present for staff about the ins and outs of Planned Parenthood and how we can potentially collaborate.

Being a part of an organization that is constantly in the face of opposition from local protesters and now preparing for a fight again the new administration can be challenging. At events people ask difficult questions about the state of Planned Parenthood and if we are going to shut down but it has also been amazing to see first hand the support that Planned Parenthood has especially in Philadelphia.

Community living is one of the most important aspects of the Philly Fellows program. What’s this like? How have you benefited?

My house is really great. I appreciate that it gave me the opportunity to bond with my fellow fellows and forces me to be social.

What’s your favorite part about being a Philly Fellow so far?

Definitely hiring interns. It taught me a lot about myself and what it means to be a create a position, tasks, goals and then provide support and do this all with confidence, clarity and humility because it never goes the way you plan.

Have you had any major successes since starting your Philly Fellows term?

I wanted to read for pleasure and so far I have finished two books from my pile and I am working on my third.

What’s your favorite hobby?

It is a tie between crossfit and African dance.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Griot (fried pork) and bannann peze (fried plantain).

What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?

Street Love by Walter Dean Myers, Haitian bread, journal (the one that has a pen attached).