Stephanie Matheson wears many hats; A graduate of University of Oregon, Co-founder of Klamath Youth Basin Without Borders, Business Owner, Volleyball Coach, Habitat for Humanity Volunteer, Miss Oregon USA Pageant Contestant and OASC Alumna.
“The important moments … that made a changing impact on my life ranged from doing service trips in developing and third-world countries, having a few teachers who were mentors, and attending OASC events,” says Stephanie. “All of these events helped me gain a sense of self, and gave me the platform to pursue my dreams. “
Stephanie became involved with OASC during the summer before her senior year of high school. She attended Summer Leadership Camp at Western Oregon University where Boundary Breaking and Serenade were her favorite events. She stayed involved with OASC becoming a Junior Counselor and volunteering at Spring and Fall Conference.
“OASC empowers students to be confident in themselves, follow their dreams, and gives them the tools they need to be the change they wish to see in the world.”
As the co-founder of Klamath Youth Basin Without Borders, Stephanie used the tools she learned from OASC to lead service trips to Trinidad, Macedonia, and will be leading a group this year to Thailand. While she does this, she uses what she believes to be the most important leadership characteristic: motivation and empowerment. This year she created a clothing line entitled EmpowHer Apparel “to motivate, inspire, and promote the empowerment of women by developing a community of strong, independent boss-babes who find confidence in themselves.”
“Steph is one of the kindest, warmest people you will meet,” says Ben Bowman, friend and fellow OASC Alumni. “Her passion shines through in everything she does; that’s why she’s such a powerful leader, because she leads with her heart. One thing I really appreciate about Stephanie is that she understands that the challenges facing our generation are not limited to Klamath Falls (where she’s from), or Oregon, or even the United States. She has the unique and powerful ability to get people to think globally and feel inspired to create change.”
While she strives to lead by example, Stephanie understand the pressures that come with being a leader. “Growing up can be tough: so many teens struggle with self-confidence, anxiety, and depression etc. As someone who struggled with clinically diagnosed depression and anxiety, I want to teach students that it’s ok to ask for help and that things do get better. I want them to know that they’re not alone and that they matter.”
Stephanie’s love of sharing confidence and motivation toward others expands farther than her resume. However, one major accomplishment is placing as 1st runner up at the Miss Oregon USA Pageant in 2015.
“Everything I have done in my community, with OASC, and ultimately in my life have contributed to my success in pageantry. It’s definitely been a long journey, but each year I grew and I learned more about myself and what I have to offer. Last year, I stepped onto the Miss Oregon USA stage knowing exactly who I am and what I want to do. I owe that to my OASC experiences and the people I have met along the way. I think each and every one of those experiences helped me place as 1st runner-up. They have continued to prepare me to compete for the job of Miss Oregon USA 2017… I know that as Miss Oregon USA, or wherever I am in life, that I want to continue to give back to the organization that has given so much to me.”
We are proud to call Stephanie Matheson an Alumna of Oregon Association of Student Councils. Her work in her community, state and around the world inspires all of us to empower and motivate others.