A Passion for Working with Youth in the Nonprofit World

Stasia Lopez's picture

Lindsey Marie Miller has been working over 10 years with school age children, in a variety of roles, ranging from tutor to school-age director and everywhere in between. Lindsey currently serves as a Coordinator for Early Childhood & School Age Programs at Providence Connections, Inc. Read her interview below: 

Lindsey Marie Miller: A Passion for Working with Youth in the Nonprofit World

How did you choose your major in college? How did you choose the college[s] you chose? Did you have a mentor or person who helped guide you through that process?

I chose my major in college based on the passion that I had for working with youth. Many of my family members were also teachers, and as I grew up I looked up to these individuals and gained the knowledge that I needed to make my decision when entering college. With the help of my high school guidance counselor, I was able to choose what school fit me the best. Family members also helped guide me through the process of visiting schools and asking the questions that were important to my preferences and learning standards. 

Did you always want to work in nonprofit/NGO work?

Initially I envisioned myself in a school district setting. I began at a nonprofit as a summer camp counselor and have been employed at Nonprofits ever since that experience! 

Where did you attend college, what did you major in? How did you gain experiences to prepare you for the work you currently do now?

I attended the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I gained experience at a young age babysitting and working as a tutor during high school and college at a local after school program. While attending college, I continued to gain a deeper understanding of what an educator experiences through field placements where I observed and taught lessons in local school districts. 

What are some of the challenges about your job? How do you tackle those challenges?

One challenge in my current position is to engage all of the ages that we have at our program. I try to use our community resources to bring new and exciting programming to our center, but also have received helped through Allegheny Partners for Out of School Time (APOST). Partnering with APOST and becoming committed to a quality after school program has given us access to grants and special funding to increase creative programming for all grade levels. 

What is the interview process like for this organization? Any tips for interns or people seeking a job with the organization?

When I applied at Providence Family Support Center, I was invited for a face to face interview where I met with two site directors. I was then invited for a second interview, which required me to teach a lesson to a group of youth at the after school program. For my third and final interview, I was asked to meet with the Executive Director to make sure that my values aligned with the mission and vision of this organization. For people seeking a job with this organization, we require verification of hours worked with youth, so it is good to keep track of youth related experiences throughout college. 

What do you currently do to achieve work/life balance? Any advice for students, graduates, and entry-level professionals that you could provide?

To achieve a work/life balance, it is important to make time for yourself. For me this includes daily physical activity, I enjoy running, biking, and walking my dogs. I also enjoy cooking to relieve any stress from work that I may have. 

Lindsey Marie Miller: A Passion for Working with Youth in the Nonprofit World

What are the benefits/perks of your job?

The benefits of my job include helping provide quality care to school agers in the most at risk time for crime from 3-6 PM. We also take pride in strengthening and enriching families through our educational programming. As an employee at this nonprofit, perks include health insurance options, access to 401 K plans, PTO, and many professional development opportunities. 

What brings you great joy in working and playing with school-age children?  

Seeing youth learn and grow through unique opportunities & experiences that they may not have otherwise had a chance to engage in at home or at school. 

Forming positive relationships and connecting with youth is something I truly enjoy about working in this field. Seeing the joy and excitement that the children have, just to be involved in the program, makes each day very rewarding at Providence Family Support Center. I appreciate the opportunity that I have to be a role model for so many youth and families. Making an impact on the lives of others is a very special experience. Turning each moment into an unforgettable memory is what working with youth is all about!  

What are you currently involved in - and anything else you’d like to share? 

I am currently serving on the Pennsylvania School-Age Child Care Alliance as a director. I enjoy serving on this board to help impact the development in the after school community and help to make decisions in the community. 



Stasia Lopez is the Global Education Editor for Wandering Educators and is also a Career Consultant at the University of Pittsburgh. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Western Michigan University and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Robert Morris University. Stasia is passionate about international education, travel,  and loves working on a college campus. She’s lived in four different U.S. states (Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania) and also studied and lived abroad in Rome, Italy. Stasia lives in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, Fernando.


All photos courtesy and copyright Lindsey Marie Miller