Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Steph Toth: Defining her own career

Steph Toth, social justice advocate and creative writing student.
Photo: David Denofreo

By Tracey Denofreo, Marketing & Communications Office

She’s volunteered in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver, the South Bronx in New York, and a Manhattan soup kitchen. She’s written poetry and prose, and has participated in slam poetry and spoken word events. She’s also the volunteer coordinator for Christmas Haven, a Maple Ridge group that provides a Christmas Eve gathering for people who would otherwise be alone.

Now, she’s bringing all of her experience together into a new career.

“I’ve always loved writing and social justice but was afraid that if I did what I loved for a living it would ruin it for me,” says Stephanie Toth. “After working full-time and hating the job, I realized that the answer was staring me right in the face. I thought, ‘Just go for it!’”

Steph is currently finishing up her Associate of Arts in Creative Writing at Douglas, and will be transferring to the University of Victoria next year where she’ll pursue a Degree in Creative Writing with a minor in Social Justice.

 “The roots of spoken word and Def poetry are in social advocacy, so I’m going to find a way to incorporate that into what I do,” she says.

She credits her instructors at Douglas with giving her the confidence she needed to move forward.

Elizabeth Bachinsky was a big inspiration,” she says. “She writes, edits, speaks and teaches. That’s when I realized that type of lifestyle really appealed to me – the knitting together of several careers.”