Andrew Stinger is a national treasure, and is also running the Boston Marathon as our MYL Foundation Charity Runner! Support his run with a donation at Crowdrise! Also, I asked him 9 questions by accident, so enjoy the bonus question!
Who are you?
Andrew Stinger, ’00 Alum from East Longmeadow High School
Former Junior Facilitator, Junior Operations, Senior Facilitator, Senior Operations, Conference Director of Staff, Conference Director of Operations, Board Member and Present Lion Hunt Enthusiast
How did you first become involved with the MYL foundation and what are you up to now?
Like many great MYL Histories, mine begins with my parents forcing me into the car against all my protestations bright and early for my conference at Fitchburg State in 2000. It took all of 30 seconds after arriving and immersing in MYL energy to realize they were so right to push me into attending my conference. I’ve been a regular volunteer ever since my conference, even though life has seen me volunteering from Boston, New York City and San Francisco, where I currently reside.
After completing my undergraduate studies at Columbia University, I began working for Google (in the Bay Area and in Boston). My career in tech included about 9 years with Google and a few breaks to work at start-ups. About 18 months ago, I made a big life change and stepped away from a desk, and clipped into a bike at SoulCycle, where I’m now a full time instructor. In between training runs, you can catch me teaching 10 – 15 SoulCycle classes per week in San Francisco, Palo Alto & Los Gatos!
What’s your hidden talent?
I can rap A LOT of Nicki Minaj’s verses.
America runs on Dunkin – what do you run on?
Burritos, Pizza, Snickerdoodles & Peanut Butter Pretzel Nuggets. (And also a bunch of healthy food, but “Brussel Sprouts with grilled chicken” is as boring as it sounds . . .)
What’s your favorite point of the STAR?
“Intentionality” always rings true to me. As a student, I cast a wide net and sent my energy in about one million different places (sports, music, academics, part time jobs, etc.) without much idea of the purpose behind what I was doing, other than that I was able to do it. In my adult life–and especially when volunteering at MassSTAR conferences–I’ve found that being specific about desired outcomes helps sustain and direct my energy in really profound ways. The outcome might not always 100% reflect what I desired, but it’s a lot less stressful getting there!
What .gif best represents you as a human?
I have a folder of GIFs saved on my laptop for moments exactly like these. I still dig this classic:
What does it mean to “be a good citizen” to you?
Citizenship is a shared responsibility to be aware of the successes, challenges and needs of your local, state, national and global communities and to respond with the gifts you possess. We all have within us the capability to lift up and inspire our neighbors, and to rise above cynicism and doubt into activism, belief and action.
Tell us your favorite MassSTAR story.
Buy me a post-race beer, and I’ll share a few stories about our revered alumni and some of our more hilarious holiday gatherings.
A favorite story that transpired at a MassSTAR conference involved a facilities mix-up that required us to move the location of our closing ceremonies with only a few hours notice. Our new space had roughly enough seating for forty people. When you consider our student delegation typically numbers above 100, and that parents and siblings would be in attendance, we were in quite a pickle. While dressed up in ties, slacks, dresses and other “Sunday Best,” a team of scrappy, behind-the-scenes volunteers worked quickly and with amazing attitudes to raid chairs from anyone who would let us borrow them for a few hours, often dragging stacks across campus! We somehow managed to have JUST enough seats in time for closing ceremonies, with no one the wiser of the herculean effort it took to make that happen. I’ve never been so happy to see someone take a seat in my life!
Do you have any advice for recent (or not so recent) MYL Alumni?
STAY CONNECTED. Even if you cannot actively volunteer, you can contribute to MYL from anywhere in the world. You and people you meet at MassSTAR (volunteers AND students your age) will go on to live amazing, full, exciting lives–and they will only be more exciting as you visit, encourage and celebrate each other!