Minnesota Alliance with Youth

Promise Fellow Spotlight: Holly Walters

Why did you become a Promise Fellow?

Because of the Five Promises: Safe Places, Caring Adults, A Healthy Start, Effective Education, and Opportunities to Help Others.  They are everything I stand for.  I was raised in a single parent household, where we struggled to stay above the poverty line and didn’t have access to after school programs. I coordinate the Service + Tutoring Equals Pride (STEP) Program.  At the beginning of our service year, we held a parent orientation to introduce the STEP program.  That night I told parents it only takes ONE person to make a difference in someone’s life.  During my last semester of college, one of my professors helped me begin “A Healthy Start” and I decided I wanted to be that “one person” to make a difference in youth’s lives.

Best Promise Fellow Experience

My most gratifying experience as a Promise Fellow so far was when I learned, directly from a STEP youth, that Promise Fellows do make a difference.  A fifth grader in the STEP program asked me what I wanted to be when I “grew up.”  I told him I wanted to be a counselor and help people.  His exact words back to me were “you are already a counselor.  You continue to help me, even though I am a challenge.  You haven’t given up on me yet.”

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Roseville, MN.  After graduating from Roseville Area High School, I earned a B.A. in Religion and Psychology from Hamline University.  During college, I volunteered my time in St. Paul schools, in addition to working at Camp Buckskin, which specializes in helping youth who have     special needs.  Throughout my college career and my AmeriCorps experience, I have learned to help youth help themselves — you can’t change anything without meeting them halfway.  After completing my year of service, I would like to obtain my teaching license or Masters Degree in Chemical Dependency.

What is your favorite quote?

“Promise me you’ll always remember…you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -Christopher Robin