Service Year Alliance’s very own Stephanie Armstrong and Csilla Aglaure-Szekelyhidi represented Service Year Alliance at the 2017 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee! I caught up with Stephanie to find out just what they were up to, check it out!
Q.) What was Service Year Alliance’s mission in attending the 2017 Bonnaroo Music Festival?
A: Service Year Alliance’s mission at the festival was to educate the public about what service years are, what the benefits are, and how fans can get involved. By attending Bonnaroo 2017 and having an information tent at Planet Roo, we were able to speak with festival attendees about serving a year before, during, or after college, or even as a career starter or changer.
Q.) Do you feel that mission was accomplished?
A: I do! So many people visited our tent, and we had some deep conversations about how to make changes nationwide by serving a year. But I’d be remissed if I didn’t admit that I wish we would have had more time and volunteer power to talk to more people while at Bonnaroo. Never enough time in the day to talk with those who care and want to help their fellow citizens and communities.
Q.) Why is Bonnaroo an ideal location for Service Year Alliance to have a presence?
A: Bonnaroo is notorious for bringing in big name music acts like Major Lazer, Chance the Rapper, Lorde, Tegan and Sarah, and The Weeknd, which in turn attracts a large following of young adults from 18-21, which is typically the age when a person considers serving. Bonnaroo attracts our target audience, and with the overall festival’s vibe of peace, love, and community, those who attend typically are already open to hearing how they can help in their communities and give back to our nation.
Q.) What was your favorite part of being able to represent Service Year Alliance at one of the more notable music festivals?
A: Meeting and getting to know the people that work behind the scenes to pull off a great festival was definitely the highlight of Bonnaroo. From those who drive the bus for Red Hot Chili Peppers, to our lovely crew of volunteers, to our Bonnaroo coordinator Sami, to the other non-profits in Planet Roo like Southern Poverty Law Center, and Regular Hero—, meeting the people that keep the festival fun, safe, and on point was my favorite part!
Q.) Do you think Bonnaroo should have Service Year Alliance back next year?
A: Yes of course! And I REALLY REALLY hope they do have us back! I was told before leaving that we were easy to work with, and that fans really accepted and liked our mission and tent. Hopefully they invite us back for round 2! I know I’m ready!
That’s all for now! Check back in later at ServiceYear.org to learn how you can do a service year and fight the good fight to ensure a service year is a common expectation and opportunity for all!