N a m e : S t e p h a n i e K u n e s
B u s i n e s s : S t e p h a n i e K u n e s D e s i g n s
O c c u p a t i o n : G r a p h i c D e s i g n e r
H o m e t o w n : B u t l e r , P e n n s y l v a n i a
C u r r e n t C i t y: G r o v e C i t y , P e n n s y l v a n i a
"The Hub has provided a workspace for collaboration and a point of reference for me to help share our vision with people of the city."
My name is Stephanie Kunes. I have wanted to change the world since I was six, wanted to go be a missionary or something like that. I thought that was the option for world changers who love justice. I love the people that other's don't see. But the panic I felt upon graduating from Geneva college with a degree in Human Services, and the amount of dread I felt for my senior internship was disturbing. I woke up one morning suspicious that I had never been brave enough to pursue the vocation that I felt the most alive in...something in art. Perhaps graphic design? That day I found a program and enrolled in an online design program. Through the days when I wanted to give up, was convinced I couldn't do it, and the days when I jumped up and down with excitement about my new logo concept, the hope that I could create things that mattered and spoke up on behalf of the oppressed is what has kept me walking forward. The unknown and possibility of failing are scary, but well worth it. (my friends remind me on the days that I forget)
As I've walked forward I have been surprised to find myself picking up the colors, lines, and shapes, that I had forgotten somewhere along the road from little girl to woman. I have finally stopped believing the lie that creativity doesn't impact my world. I have been shocked to find I am intrigued by the world of business and that God is in business. God loves business people and He loves people on the street. He has enough love to go around. God has taught me that I can still love the forgotten while creating and freelancing. He's revealed that He doesn't ask me to change my world...He asks me to love those around me on this journey. The change may or may not be immediately seen.
How has AOX impacted you?
Over the past year my friends here in AOX have empowered me to be more powerful than I ever would have been brave enough to become by myself. They have shown me my strengths when I couldn't find them, and they have continually encouraged my hard work and dared me to be brave enough to be creative. It has been insane looking back over this past year...and all I can do at some moments is shake my head, but I have finally been freed to not see who I was made to be and what I love doing as less than what pleases God. I have had the privilege of learning to love a community well, getting to know city leaders and networking that has led to projects and relationships I never would have believed would happen a year ago. The hub has provided a workspace for collaboration and a point of reference for me to help share our vision with people of the city. It's great to see the hope spark in their eye as they listen to our hope for what it will become.