Meet the WPLN Fellows: Stephania Fulleda

In 2022, WPLN launched its first-ever Fellowship for nonprofit management. As part of the program, fellows help build the capacity of our organization and assist our State Partners who identify, engage, and train women on the ground to seek public office. This year, WPLN continues this program with its second cohort of three outstanding young women.

Meet Stephania Fulleda, WPLN fellow from Norcross, Georgia. Stephania is pursuing her Bachelor’s in International Affairs at the University of Georgia, and is expecting to graduate in 2025.

[WPLN]: What about WPLN's mission do you feel most passionate about? 

[Stephania]: The aspect of WPLN’s mission that I am most passionate about is the community and network that women interested in running for public office can be immersed into. Often, we hear of one or two day-long conferences that are meant to empower more women to run for office, but we don’t often hear of organizations that are willing to take deliberate time in partnering with future political leaders to connect them to the proper people and resources. WPLN is making a difference in the future of women in politics.

What are you most looking forward to with your Fellowship? 

I am most looking forward to working with State Partners who have traversed a path that I hope to one day experience myself. Additionally, there are so many influential women on the WPLN staff that will be able to equip me with skills and tools that will serve me for many years. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to grow as a leader by learning from those around me.

What do you see as one of the biggest challenges for women in leadership today?

One of the biggest challenges for women in leadership is a lack of respect for their voices. Out-dated societal structures often have women leading behind the scenes and they are offered no place at the table to share their concerns or insights. We’re stepping into a new era where we need to uplift the voices of women more and more so that they can begin to impact women all across the country.

How do you plan to impact your community post-graduation? 

I am a first-generation college student in my community and there was a lot I had to figure out of my own. From figuring out financial aid to estimating living expenses, there is a pressure that first-generation Americans experience in regards to their higher education. They often are afraid to dream big and the idea of running for public office is out of question. Although I plan on attending law school after I graduate, I will work hard to create access to resources that will equip my community members that are beginning the process of applying to college. Through these resources, I would love to encourage them to learn more about the public sector and hopefully spark an interest in public service. Thanks to someone who came to talk to me about that, I decided that I will run for public office one day so that I can continually serve the greater community of Georgia.

What is your favorite quote by a woman who has impacted your life?

One of the most impactful quotes that I believe my life can one day resonate is “You can be the difference”. Often when I am sharing a struggle with my aunt, she will encourage me with this saying. Sometimes we want solutions to fall from the sky, but what if we decided to make a difference in not only our lives but the lives of women all around the country? It will not be easy, but it is in the midst of struggle where we become resilient women.