Kylie Stoltzfus had always thought she would study journalism; she graduated from Harrisburg Area Community College in 2020 with an Associate degree in that field. But after gaining some experience working in communications with nonprofits, she realized that Public Relations was a better fit.
Stoltzfus will graduate from Millersville University in fall 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Bachelor of Arts in Government Affairs. She added the second major to learn about the police side of humanitarian/nonprofit work. Stoltzfus hopes to use media and communications to advocate for the causes of nonprofit organizations in her community. Her dream career is one that allows her to meet interesting people from all walks of life and to put her creativity to use. She hasn’t finalized any plans, but she is exploring options for graduate school.
At Millersville, Stoltzfus serves as an Associate News Editor on The Snapper, the student newspaper. She credits the group with easing her transition as a transfer student. Stoltzfus said that student journalism has helped build both her professional and creative confidence.
Working in Lancaster, Pa.’s nonprofit sector, Stoltzfus has had conversations about developing and improving policy to create more inclusive and diverse work environments and has participated in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training.
“Through each professional experience I have engaged in to this point, I have been stretched and challenged to expand my viewpoint and recognize that there is so much I do not know about the experience of BIPOC people in my own community. I am actively seeking to learn and become an ally through diversity training, volunteer opportunities, continued education, and using my skillsets in writing and video to start a larger conversation on the topic. By participating in the Writing Wrongs program, I hope to learn how to tell critical stories with sensitivity and honesty.“
Stoltzfus describes herself as nonconfrontational but as she has learned and unlearned preconceived notions of how racism manifests, she has learned ways to address it.
“This can look like directly addressing a comment or problematic issue, but it can also look like engaging in deeper dialogue when faced with an incident of racism,” Stoltzfus said. “I have so much to learn in regard to calling out racism when I see it and learning to do so from a place of both humility and conviction.”
If she could be granted one wish for the world, Stoltzfus would like to see our society continue to learn to care for our communities and recognize that our perspectives on issues are often limited to what we have known or experienced. She hopes that we as humans continue to grow in empathy through connection and genuine listening, especially when exposed to a viewpoint or experience that is not our own.
Stoltzfus enjoys reading, watching “New Girl,” and cooking dinner for friends.
Her top bucket list item is to live abroad, preferably in London.