Maria Stephanos Inspires the APH Community

By APH Staff

Journalist and WCVB Channel 5 News Anchor Maria Stephanos gave up her cameras and teleprompter for an inspiring talk on bravery, compassion and opportunity this Monday at APH.  “Wow!  What an environment!” she began, going on to tell many stories from her life and career, from making college choices to interviewing presidents.

She gave the girls a very important message: “Find your way in life, never say no to opportunities, and don’t let others say no to you. Kick down shut doors, and “be exactly who you are” to be successful and change the world.” Ms. Stephanos likened the environment at APH to her own experiences of growing up in Groveland and attending Emerson College, noting that “smaller makes everything bigger.”

Ms. Stephanos shared her life as a learner, urging the girls to be lifetime learners themselves, because “learners will shape the world.” From her time at Emerson College, through her early broadcasting career and into more recent experiences, Ms. Stephanos demonstrated how to “keep asking and don’t be afraid of mistakes.”  She recalled taking inspiration from Barbara Walters, but also from a challenging run-in with White House press corps stalwart Helen Thomas, where she learned from experience that “You can’t let anybody stop you, no matter who they might be,” and that “You must wear yourself with confidence at all times. Whoever you are, embrace that. Don’t change for anybody.”

Our APH students had interesting questions for Ms. Stephanos. In reply to one question about her favorite interviews, Ms. Stephanos recalled interviewing a young Barack Obama and a number of acting presidents.  “Face to face, just realize they are the same, just a person. Don’t be afraid of anybody.”

Abby Mastrocola ’21 stated about the talk, “She embraced the idea that we are not dependent on others.  We can truly do things for ourselves.”  Shayla Saad ’21 said that the talk “inspired me not to be scared to follow my own beliefs.”  Certainly, Ms. Stephanos’ message to our students embraced much of the philosophy here at APH: “leap, fall, and get back up to new possibilities; you never know where the experience is going to take you. Be the one who says ‘I’ll do it.’”