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Staff Spotlight: 20 Questions in 60 Seconds with Steven McCullough

By Megan Hoel Dec. 14, 2015

20 Questions in 60 Seconds is our blog series in which we interview Communities In Schools staff members. This week's guest is Steven McCullough, Chief Operating Officer at the Communities In Schools National office.

1. What three traits define you?
Loyal, positive, curious.

2. What is your personal philosophy?
Learn as much as possible about everything, apply what you learn and share what you learn for the greater good.

3. What would you like to be your greatest accomplishment?
That I tried to build the strongest systems that move children and families out of poverty.

4. Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?
I thought I would still be on the Westside of Chicago doing community development work, pursuing a law degree.

5. What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?
I think one of the greatest challenges that I had to overcome is breaking out of the neighborhood I was raised. A lot of my friends got caught up. I had a determined mother and grandmother who exposed me to a lot of opportunities.

6. What is the one thing you cannot resist? (food/dessert/candy/etc.)
Chocolate and anything competitive.

7. What is your greatest fear?
Being irrelevant.

8. Where is your favorite place to be?
Where ever my family is.

9. What is your favorite thing to do?
Play chess.

10. Where is the best place you've traveled to and why?
Barcelona, Spain because of the geography, art and history.

11. Who is your biggest inspiration?
My grandmother Geneva Perry. Despite the hand she was dealt with her health, she was our family anchor, always positive and my biggest fan at whatever I did.

12. What does true leadership mean to you?
True leadership means giving what you have and what you know to your team in order to move the work ahead.

13. What's the coolest (or most important) trend you see today?
There are two trends that are important. First, the rise of voice on the part of young adults today on injustice and tolerance in big cities and college campuses across the country. The second, unfortunately, is the "dumbing down" of our political discourse.

14. What would you do (for a career) if you weren't doing this?
Running a business in the private sector.

15. You're hosting a dinner party. Who are the 3 people, living or dead, who you would invite and why?
I would invite my wife who would bring out the best in everyone at the party. I would invite Chris Rock to bring some intellectual humor to the party. I would invite Shaquille O'Neil of non-intellectual humor. It's a party and I like to laugh.

16. If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
Airline pilot.

17. What advice do you have for kids who are struggling in school?
Ask for help, stay positive and this too shall pass.

18. What are your three most overused words/phrases?
"Sorry", "Happy Friday", "Heads Up".

19. How do you define success?
Being happy at who you look at in the mirror.

20. What is your favorite thing about working at Communities In Schools?
Thinking everyday about how our work can improve to reach more kids across the country.


Have questions for Steven? Comment them below and he'll answer!