Welcome new ASTEP staff member, Meg O’Brien!

We are thrilled to introduce you to our new Director of Development, Meg O’Brien! Please join us in giving a warm welcome to Meg!

Where did you grow up?
Dorchester, Massachusetts

Where did you work before joining the ASTEP team?
I’ve been working in the non-profit/development sector for the past three years in NYC. I ran a development department for an inner city DOE high school in East Harlem and then moved to a global NGO start-up.

Have you been onsite with any ASTEP programs? Which ones?
In the summer of 2010, I volunteered as a music teacher through the ASTEP at Refugee Youth Summer Academy. I loved it. It was one of the best volunteer experiences that I’ve ever had and am still friends with my co-teachers all of these years later.

Did you have a background in the arts or teaching, when you started?
I went to school for musical theatre in NYC and then theatre in London, pursuing that career in NYC for about 10 years. Received a degree in music from The Berklee College of Music, but switched focus to public health/human rights work after time spent volunteering and working in Zambia. At my core I will always be an artist and approach whatever work I do, in a creative way.

What is the most challenging part of your work?
I think a lot of people think fundraising is just asking people for money. I believe development work is building relationships with people. Trying to figure out who believes in the mission of the work and then allowing them to get excited that they can be a part of the process and ultimately helping to guide them to a place where they feel comfortable to support in a variety of ways.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?
When I’m able to share the story of the important work that ASTEP does to a new supporter and they are excited to become involved.

What do you look forward to, each day, working at ASTEP?
The ASTEP team has been great. Everyone brings such a high level excitement and work ethic to their roles, that it feels contagious.

What song best encapsulates your working personality?
I love “Drive” by Ben Rector or “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. I’m not sure that they encapsulate my work personality, but I can definitely listen to them on repeat while I work!