Stephanie Michel has lived in Olney for thirteen years since she moved to the area from Brooklyn with her family. Michel said she appreciates watching the change and growth in her neighborhood and enjoys being an active part of her community.
After graduating from Albright College, a predominately white school, Michel said the cultural differences in Olney really stuck out to her as vital trademarks of the area that needed to be protected from potential decay.
“As a sociology and Spanish major, this area is great for what I love to do. I love the people and I just really appreciate things that are different. You definitely get something different in this neighborhood,” said Michel.
“I’m working towards building relationships within the community, as well as getting young people involved. A community functions and feels different when it is working together,” Michel said.
Apart from a personal interest in the way that her community functions, Michel helps connect the missing link between businesses and residents as the community engagement coordinator at North Fifth Street Revitalization Project. In addition to this position, Michel is also an active member in the North Fifth Street Advisory Boards, Greater Olney Friends and Olney Partners which help implement positive thinking in the community.
Michel said, “Communities are built on relationships and activity so, it takes everyone stepping out of their comfort zones and getting to know the people that live in their neighborhood.”
At 25, Michel said she does not plan to relocate and could not think of a better place for her to be at this point in her life path.
“The people who inspire me are the people who live here by choice and care about their community and want to see it change,” she said.