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Metropolitan State TRIO Pay It Forward Tour

The Pay It Forward Tours will take place from May 7-10th destined for Chicago, IL!

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In The News

Alumni Profile: Scarleth Lopez

Scarleth Lopez was a participant on Stephen F. Austin State University’s first ever Pay It Forward Tour.

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Time 09:09


Journey to STLF

I’ve been on staff with STLF for about seven weeks. (Wow, it seems like it’s been longer than that.) I have had a steady stream of meetings and phone calls with our past and present board members, past staff members, partner organizations, alumni, donors, and supporters. Here’s some of what I’ve learned:

  • People who support STLF are incredible people. They are compassionate, purposeful, generous, and fun.
  • In a short time STLF has accomplished incredible work; both through the massive volunteer mobilization of our Pay It Forward tours, and through the personal transformation, equipping, and training of our participants.
  • STLF is in the midst of a period of transition from being a visionary entrepreneurial start-up sustained by dreams and passion, to becoming a respected innovator in youth and leadership development, pursuing sustained growth and establishing a legacy.
  • I have a lot to learn; so many people I get to meet and meaningful relationships to develop.
  • STLF is a great organization, doing incredible things, because of fantastic people. (And you’re reading this STLF newsletter, so you must be a fantastic person.)

The most common question I’ve been asked over these seven weeks is about the career change I made in accepting this role with STLF. Before coming to STLF I was a Senior Pastor of a church. I have about 15 years of professional experience in churches. I have a Master of Divinity degree, which is an advanced degree in pastoral leadership.  My answer isn’t very exciting; there is no scandal or drama. I think about the change as an act of integrity and embracing change. My journey was as if 20 years-ago I started walking down one road and about a year ago I realized I was on a different road. Joining the STLF team was embracing the road I realized I was on rather than changing roads. Feel free to ask me about that journey. I’m thrilled to be a part of STLF and would love to tell you about the road that lead here.

There are other things about me you might like to know. I’m a Minnesotan! I grew up in Austin, where SPAM comes from. I lived in the Twin Cities for most of my adult life before moving to Chicago for three years and then Sioux Falls, SD for two years. Minnesota is home. Anne and I have been married for 16 years. We are parents to an eighth grader, a sixth grader, and a fifth grader. I love nature activities, particularly ones on or near water. I enjoy cooking. I like to try to fix things, even if I don’t succeed.



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