Stacey Allen '11, SM '15: Freshman Urban Program

I had a wonderful public service experience through the Freshman Urban Program (FUP) during my time at MIT. The people I met at FUP were literally the first MIT students I met on campus, as I participated in the program during pre-orientation as a freshman in 2007. To this day, some of my very best friends are those that I met as a FUPper. In later years, I became a counselor (2008, 2010) and a coordinator (2009) for FUP, taking on a leadership role within the program. I consider FUP one of my most core experiences at MIT, and it has very much helped to shape my interests and passions today.

As a FUPper, I was able to help out various community organizations including food banks, homeless shelters, and schools who serve those in need in the greater Boston area. As a FUP counselor and coordinator, not only was I able to help out with the service projects (leading student groups), but I was also able to mentor the incoming freshmen. As counselors, we were responsible for acclimating the freshmen to life at MIT and teaching them about some of the important issues that plague our community, and what they might be able to do to help.

FUP had a very strong impact on not only my extracurricular activities at MIT, but also on my subsequent career path. From the program, I developed a newfound passion for service, and continued that work during my undergrad years, not only through FUP, but also with Colleges Against Cancer, as we developed MIT's very first Relay For Life event. As an MIT alum, I've been working in education, first as a physics teacher with Teach For America and now back at MIT researching educational technologies. This pathway of work and research has its roots in my very first week at MIT, and for that, I am very grateful.

Stacey Allen '11, SM '15
SB, Department of Economics
Graduate Student, Technology & Policy Program