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5 Questions with...Michele Freed!

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Michele Freed recently joined the Schusterman DC office as a Fellow. Read her bio and get to know her below!

1. Tell us what excites you most about your new position with the Foundation.

In my new position with the Schusterman Foundation I am most excited about the incredible learning opportunities ahead of me. I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by energized, smart and impressive individuals that I believe will push me, work with me and encourage me to reach my full potential in this year.

Not only do I have the opportunity to learn, but also to contribute to ideals and values I feel extremely passionate about. Knowing that I get to contribute to the mission of this foundation every day alongside other passionate people is an incredible position to be in.

2. What key lessons from your past experience do you plan to apply to your new role?

In college I was a part of a senior honors society of diverse student leaders from different parts of campus that highlighted its members for their commitment to improving campus through their organizations. With only one year as members of the society, we worked hard together to take full advantage of everything we could during those twelve months. Similarly, my fellowship position is for only one year, and I intend to make the most of my limited time in this position. 

While at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, I will be able to bring in the recent knowledge and experiences I carry from my work on campus and high school youth movements. As student-chair of our Hillel, I was heavily involved in Jewish life on campus at the University of Michigan and I also work closely with high school students in the Young Judaea Youth Movement. I hope to apply what I’ve learned from my experience working in these young communities to the work I do at Schusterman in a continual effort to advance connections to individual Jewish identity, strengthen pluralistic communities and increase youth empowerment.

3. What is the best piece of personal or professional advice you have ever received?

“Seek to understand before being understood.” 

4. Where can you be found on a day off?

On a day off I can most likely be found outside exploring something new in Washington, DC. I’m very new to the city and I love finding great street festivals, runs, farmers markets, concerts, conferences, monuments and all other fun and random (mostly free) things the city has to offer. I usually take my adventures by bike (and helmet of course). It’s the fastest, most fun way to get around the city and become a human-stumble-upon!

5. We understand you're quite the soccer fan! What position do you play and do you think soccer is making a comeback with American audiences?

Yes! I do love soccer very much. My primary position is Goalkeeper and I have played it through college—though I will say that during a game of pick-up I always prefer the field. I think the popularity of soccer especially among women is definitely picking up thanks to the recent success of the Women’s National Team in this year’s World cup. More than a comeback, I would say that the rising popularity of the sport in the United States is more of an exponential growth and continuation of what was started back in 1999 with the winning American World Cup Team.

However, this new group of amazing American role-models such as Meagan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly are definitely providing some new inspiration and excitement around what it looks like for young women to be strong, successful, athletic, outspoken and looked up to in today’s world. Whether it’s a comeback or a growing success I’m happy to see so much excitement around the sport of (women’s) soccer and empowerment for young women in America.