Friday, September 11, 2015

First Impressions: Ewelina Gadek

First Impressions: Ewelina Gadek 

Ewelina Gadek, Junior Business Management major, is an AU superstar! In addition to being in the Honors College, she is on the Dean’s List, has a Presidential Scholarship, and a Recognition Award Scholarship. Just wait, it gets better. Ms. Gadek is Vice President of Public Relations for Delta Delta Delta, Vice President of Earle Hall Council through the Resident Student Association, a Peer Assistant Leader for the Division of Student Affairs, Public Relations "Point Person" for the Student Activities Board, and Talent Show Committee Member for C.A.L.I.B.E.R. Yeah … I know! Oh and before I forget, she is trilingual. Try not to feel too badly about yourselves.

Similar to Ms. Sedlak, Ewelina obtained a job on campus by attending the Center for Career Development’s annual Welcome Back Block Party. She is now an Admissions Ambassador in the Office of Admissions, leading campus tours and representing AU at various events. Below is an interview with Ms. Gadek that sheds insight into her experience as an on-campus employee and how it has positively affected her professional development. Take notes, folks!

INTERVIEWER: What impact does or did your campus job have on your experience as a student? Did it help you get involved, or to feel more included in campus life?  

Gadek: While having a campus job may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about getting involved, it is certainly an excellent stepping-stone. Once I was hired at the Center for Recreation and Sports, I gained communication skills that helped me become a peer assistant leader at Adelphi, which in turn led to my second job in the Office of Business Affairs. Any position on campus helps you feel like you’re a part of the community. There is a sense of belonging.

INTERVIEWER: Did/Does your job relate to your anticipated career and, if so, how has that on-the-job insight helped you learn and gain experience for job prospects after graduation?  

GADEK: My current on-campus jobs do not directly relate to the field I am interested in though they both provided me with résumé experience for future opportunities. I believe that every job is an opportunity to learn new things. Through my positions on campus, I have been able to gain valuable skill sets that aided my entry into the Jaggar Community Fellows Program and subsequent internship with New York Cares, which is directly related to my dream—working in development for a nonprofit organization.

INTERVIEWER: Would you recommend a campus job to other students? Why or why not?
GADEK: I would absolutely recommend a campus job to other students, especially residents. Not only is it close and convenient, it exposes you to new individuals on campus, which is one of the most important aspects of getting involved.

This year’s Welcome Back Block Party took place yesterday and boy was it a hit! For those of you who braved the stormy weather and attended, we hope you found what you were looking for and seized every relevant opportunity. Don’t forget to follow-up with employers and maintain your connections! For those of you who were unable to attend, below is a link including some of the employers who were looking to hire our students; you’ll want to see this. To inquire about positions that may still be available, check out handshake.

I encourage you to make this semester count and apply for various positions that will aid in making your dreams come true! We cannot wait to hear your success stories!

Friday, September 4, 2015

First Impressions: Victoria Sedlak

First Impressions: Victoria Sedlak

Showing prospective employers she is ambitious about her career

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Meet Victoria Sedlak: a rising Senior pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. As an Honors College student, Ms. Sedlak has been striving academically, receiving Provost and Recognition scholarships as well as placement on the Dean's List. In addition to her scholastic accomplishments, Victoria has been working on her professional development by attending events held by the Center for Career Development (CCD) and interning at various organizations. Most recently, she interned at Walt Whitman Birthplace Association through the Jaggar Community Fellows summer internship program. This girl has got it going on! 

As the fall semester commences, the CCD is preparing for our annual Welcome Back Block Party on Thursday, September 10, 2015, from 11am -2pm. This fall Job Fair is for current students and alumni, and will be at the Garden City campus, in the Thomas Dixon Lovely Ballroom, Ruth S. Harley University Center. It is an excellent opportunity to apply for on- and off- campus jobs, as well as learn about prospective internship, volunteer, and leadership possibilities. Students will also have the opportunity to:

  • Take FREE professional LinkedIn head shots
  • Be able to check with the Office of Student Financial Services to inquire about work-study
  • Learn about paid opportunities offered through the Center for Career Development, such as:
    • America Reads/America Counts work-study tutoring program
    • Jaggar Community Fellows Program (JCFP) paid summer internships
    • Panthers with a Purpose work-study program

Through her participation in the Block Party, Victoria learned about on-campus employment and applied for a position. She now works as an Events Assistant in the Department of Marketing and Creative Services, marketing and promoting the university to prospective students. When interviewed about her on-campus work experience and how it has impacted her career trajectory, Ms. Sedlak replied with this:  

Interviewer: What impact does or did your campus job have on your experience as a student? Did it help you get involved, or to feel more included in campus life?  
Sedlak: Working with the events department has definitely helped me meet new people (we have a fairly large student team) and gain valuable skills and experiences that I can carry with me throughout my time at Adelphi and my future career. I’m constantly interacting with faculty, current students and prospective students, which continually improves my communication skills and also results in valuable connections. 
INTERVIEWER: Did/Does your job relate to your anticipated career and, if so, how has that on-the-job insight helped you learn and gain experience for job prospects after graduation?  
SEDLAK: I strive to have a career in marketing, more specifically, marketing for nonprofit organizations, and when I’ve gone on interviews for possible internships the employers have always been impressed to see that I have two years of experience in marketing at my University. Before I graduate, I’ll have experience in multiple aspects of the field, such as updating inventories, managing a database, promotion, branding and outreach. It shows prospective employers that I’m ambitious about my career. Having years of experience prior to graduating really helps set me apart from other applicants.  
INTERVIEWER: Would you recommend a campus job to other students? Why or why not?  
SEDLAK: If you have the opportunity, especially if it relates to your career goals, go for it. Campus jobs are not only beneficial in helping you have a little extra spending money in your pocket, they give you valuable experiences which will ultimately help you down the road. You are able to work side-by-side with some pretty amazing people who help keep Adelphi up and running. You’re also able to meet and build lasting relationships with [other students] whom you may have never been able to meet otherwise. I would highly recommend a campus job to fellow students.  

As the semester begins, don't forget to get involved and seize the opportunities ahead of you! Follow in the footsteps of Ms. Sedlak and explore your options, starting with this year's Block Party. No matter what your class standing, major, or housing status, there are employment opportunities out there for you. So, start now and get excited to make the most of your fall 2015 semester! 

Welcome Back students! The CCD looks forward to seeing you soon :) 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Then & Now: Our very own Allison Keibel

Farewell to Our Career Counselor:

Allison Keibel

I am sad to say that our beloved Career Counselor and Associate Director of the Center for Career Development, Miss Allison Keibel, is no longer at Adelphi University. I think I speak for all of us in the Adelphi community when I say we will miss her dearly and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. 

Allison is a very special person that has contributed greatly to the success of our office and to the professional development of our students. She has critiqued countless resumes, hosted numerous mock interviews, and presented at various events, shedding insight into her own experiences and helping students navigate their unique career development. To highlight her accomplishments, let's recap ... 

For seven and a half years, Ms. Keibel served Adelphi, counseling students and fostering their growth and competence. I emphasize the term counseling because although she has over thirteen years of counseling experience in higher education, Allison also has her Master of Arts degree in Community and Counseling Psychology. Impressive ... clearly.

At Adelphi, Allison was known for her event planning, like On Campus Recruitment for Social Work, Education, and Psychology majors, as well as her organization of Freshman Orientation, the Block Party, and various career-related workshops. Additionally, Allison touched the lives of many students through teaching the Freshman Orientation Experience classes and through her mentorship as a career counselor. She was dedicated to helping students find their passion and embark on their career paths, as well giving them the necessary tools to connect with and maintain relations with prospective employers. Having a counselor like Allison in their corner made a world of difference in the lives of the students who worked with her and got to know her personally. 

As her Graduate Assistant and colleague, it has been a pleasure and a privilege working with Miss Keibel. Her unrelenting support, kindness, and dedication to the students was unmatched and allowed for a positive and enjoyable work environment. The Center for Career Development will not be the same without her! 

Although this is farewell for now, it is certainly not goodbye forever. 

For those of you who knew Ms. Keibel, I encourage you to reach out and send some love, preferably through LinkedIn. Believe it or not, I am certain she has impacted you all on some level or another. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Then & Now: Gridiane Pygeol

Gridiane Pygeol:

Her journey from Girl Scouts to Grant Thornton

In 2010, Ms. Pygeol was a Finance Intern for Girl Scouts of Nassau County in New York, representing the Community Fellows Program (CFP) at Adelphi University. As a Sophomore, she implemented Girl Scout Leader Training techniques for scout leaders and collaborated with outreach teams to create marketing collateral for the county’s programs. Gridiane's passion for serving the underserved continued to strengthen, and so she applied to intern again at Girl Scouts of Nassau County, however in the Accounting department. Sure enough, in 2011, Gridiane was reconciling financial documents, facilitating Girl Scout Leader Training workshops, and assisting summer outreach program participants with educational activities, as an Accounting Intern. As a current Auditor for a non for profit Accounting company, Grant Thornton LLP, Gridiane believes the CFP helped her "better understand the auditing process for this type of industry." Furthermore, she stated:
"By interning at the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, I was able to understand more about the nonprofit industry. Being exposed to different sides of a nonprofit organization and working in the accounting department, enabled me to understand the financing portion. I also worked within the outreach department and learned about the different marketing techniques used to recruit new girl scouts. I made an impact within the organization and different communities by assisting within the outreach program. The Community Fellows Program gave me the opportunity to help girls of all ages. By implementing the outreach program, I was able to help girls build upon their self-esteem, communicate their concerns, and create new friendships. I also had the opportunity to help the Girl Scouts organization form new relationships within different communities."

Impressively, Gridiane continued to stay at Girl Scouts in 2012 as a Fund Development Assistant. Since then, she has held several positions in the finance and accounting fields, and has graduated with her Master of Business Administration degree. Presently, Ms. Pygeol is a Commercial Auditor for Grant Thornton LLP. She feels that as a result of her participation in the CFP, she was able to develop the skills necessary to succeed throughout her career. Gridiane also reported being able to build upon her leadership qualities, communication skills, and team development abilities, following her CFP internships. For those of you who are thinking of applying to the CFP next year, Gridiane offers some advice: "I would say this is an amazing opportunity that all students should take advantage of. It will give them a real world experience that will better prepare them for their career. The program has impacted my career." 

Panthers, be proactive like Gridiane and chase your dreams! There is no time like the present to get involved, immerse yourself in experience, and enjoy the ride. For the current CFP's, continue to do what you do best and serve your communities. For those of you pondering a paid Summer internship for 2016, stop pondering and start thinking of the communities you want to impact and skills you want to sharpen and attain. Have a bright weekend, everyone, and continue to follow all of our shining stars on social media!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Then & Now: Alexis Gregos

Alexis Gregos: Then & Now

This Psych Major discovered a sense of belonging 

as her CFP internship led to a Full time job:

Alexis Gregos, '14, impressively just completed her Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology with an Advanced Certificate in Human Resource Management, from Adelphi University. Prior to that in 2012, Ms. Gregos completed her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology at Adelphi. This ambitious young lady is passionate about helping others and giving back to the community, and supports causes advocating for animal welfare, arts and culture, children, education, the environment, health, and disaster and humanitarian relief. In 2011, Alexis was a student intern through the Community Fellows Program (CFP) at Music and Memory, a non-profit organization seeking to improve quality of life for those elder or ill, through personalized music. At Music and Memory, Alexis and her colleagues, sought to make therapeutic music a standard of care throughout the health care industry. Alexis proved her dedication to this organization, its clientele, and the nonprofit sector, by working as their Community Outreach Coordinator, since 2013. She is still currently employed by Music and Memory and when asked to discuss her career development, starting with the CFP, she had this to say to us: 


Q: What impact did the Community Fellows Program have on your personal development?

A:  The Community Fellows Program greatly impacted my personal development by:
  • teaching me to go after the things I wanted
  • how to treat people with the utmost respect
  • how to listen when being spoken to
  • how to be meticulous in everything I do
When I first applied for the CFP, I knew nothing about how non-profits worked, how they differed from other types of organizations, and the types of people who worked for non-profit organizations. The CFP helped me improve so many personal qualities that are not only looked for in a professional but is expected from an Adelphi University student.

Q: How did interning at your nonprofit impact your career trajectory?

A: First and foremost, if I never applied to be a Community Fellow, I would not be where I am today. At the time I had applied, not only had I never heard of the organization I currently work for, Music & Memory, but I was really unsure about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. Like many people, I had many interests but nothing that stood out. I never got the feeling this is what I need to be doing until I applied for the CFP and met with Dan Cohen. I interned with him all summer long and stayed in contact with him when I started back at school; I then started working for him part time and am now a full time employee at Music & Memory. My experiences as an intern a few summers ago is very similar to what I do on a daily basis here and I finally found that feeling of knowing where I belong. I wake up every single day excited to be working at Music & Memory. I love the people I work with, I love the people I interact with on a daily basis and most importantly, I learn something every single day which really has just been unbelievable.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you say to current students considering applying for this year's Community Fellows?

A: Knowing what I know now, there are two pieces of advice I would give to current students who are considering applying for this years CFP: (1) do it and (2) do not be afraid of what is thrown your way. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to just try something and see where it takes you. When I was an intern, I had a very difficult experience that made me really question my career path and my internship. I so desperately wanted to quit and never look back but was advised to just talk to my superiors and discuss my options. Once I did, I was so thankful that I stuck it through and didnt quit. It is so important to go after something you want but it is also really important to communicate with those around you. Talk about your problems and your feelings with people you trust  and who can help guide you, because when you are in a situation so deep, you may not be able to see options.

Q: What impact did your presence have on the nonprofit where you interned? What about the community it served?

A: When I first started out at Music & Memory, the staff consisted of just the Executive Director, Dan, myself, and another Community Fellow. The organization was very new and most of what we did was a lot of trial and error; Dan and I talk about this all the time. He asked me to set up a Facebook page for the non-profit and in order to be a real organization on Facebook, we had to get 25 “followers”. We just hit our 10,000 follower mark last month and we talk about how much has changed and how much we have grown and learned since those very first 25 followers.  

One of the projects I worked on as an intern in 2011 was a spreadsheet of the top 25 languages spoken in the US and top artists in those languages. It was very time consuming and tedious but it was a phenomenal project that I got to work on. Every single facility that gets certified in the Music & Memory program (over 1,000 places at the moment) receives that spreadsheet for their residents who speak other languages and may have Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or difficulty communicating their needs. 

One of the things I love about working for Music & Memory is getting to interact with people from all over the world, that I get to talk to and listen to. They tell me their stories and the reason behind why they want to volunteer for us; I then place them with local facilities. They either get to visit nursing home residents who have never received a visitor before or run a fundraiser to get new facilities certified which will grant dozens of people access to their music. This ensures more memories will come to life and more relationships will be made. 


It is impressive and humbling to see Alexis continue to work for Music and Memory and help serve the underserved. As you can see, working in the nonprofit sector is not only rewarding but can provide opportunities for growth and professional development. So remember folks, get involved, put in the effort, and spread your kindness. Here at the Center for Career Development, we wish you the happiest, healthiest, and most memorable of summers! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Then & Now: Rebecca Benison

Rebecca Benison: 

Strategically Branding Social Media 

Rebecca Benison specializes in social media, publicity, public relations, writing, and editing. That said, she is quite a qualified and ambitious alum! During her time spent at Adelphi, Ms. Benison was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Honor Society, and Lamda Pi Eta, the National Communications Honor Society. Additionally, she was the Event Coordinator of the Environmental Action Coalition, and was involved in Public Relations for the Debate Team on campus. Topping this all off, Ms. Benison graduated a semester early, Magna cum Laude, with a BA in Communications, concentrating in Journalism. Needless to say, she was a high flyer here at AU.

Impressively, Rebecca has been recognized for her talents and accomplishments by previous coworkers, both on and off campus. She has also received several awards, such as the Communitas et Civitas Award from the Adelphi Department of Communications, the Dean's Award Scholarship, and the Talent Scholarship in Communications. Ms. Benison was also a Levermore Global Scholar, and recognized by Nassau County Legislator John J. Ciotti for her participation in the Inaugural United States Summit and Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy. In addition to her professional accolades, Ms. Benison is a passionate, charitable young woman who seeks to give back to the community and values culturalism. This is indicated by her involvement in Pets4Love Animal Shelter and linguistic knowledge of Spanish and French. 

When it came time for Rebecca to apply for the Community Fellows Program (CFP), she was uniquely qualified given her previous experiential learning experiences, and strong work ethic. Thus, in 2010, she was placed at the Epilepsy Foundation of Long Island as a Community Relations Intern. There, Ms. Benison publicized recent accomplishments through press release writing and distribution, wrote and assembled the fall 2010 newsletter, and wrote grant proposals and letters of inquiry, and researched new sources of funding. Ms. Benison said, 
"My internship centered on writing and distributing press releases. At that company, I served many roles, including social media. This well-rounded experience helped me get hired by ThomasNet as a Project Manager of Digital Media. From there, I was later promoted to Social Media Brand Strategist. So each experience built off the one before it."
Evidently, Rebecca's CFP experience impacted her in a positive way, affecting her career trajectory. She stresses to students that:
"Every single opportunity you have in college is one worth pursuing. This program [CFP] looks great on your resume, builds professional skills, and leads to connections which can help you land a job later on. Don’t take it for granted. As long as you are in college, you should be doing everything possible to make sure you are employable after graduation. This program will help to achieve that."

Ms. Benison is an intelligent, engaged, and resourceful young lady, exemplary of the benefits CFP offers. To those embarking on their CFP journey, best of luck - enjoy the ride! To the remaining Panthers, enjoy your summer, be proactive in your employment/internship search, and keep an eye out for us next year.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Then & Now: Natalie Eisenkraft

Natalie Eisenkraft:
Proudly representing the NYC Dept. of Education

Then                                   Now                                        

Natalie is a bright, intelligent, young lady who served in the Community Fellows Program (CFP) and now proudly represents the NYC Department of Education as a Special Education Teacher. She is dually certified to teach Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities in grades 1 through 6. Given her academic achievements as an English major and Spanish and Education minor, Ms. Eisenkraft was selected for the Adelphi University Model Program and Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP). Furthermore, she earned the Dean's Award and Recognition Award, served as an Ambassador/ Speaker for the Employer Appreciation Breakfast, received third place in the Department of Languages’ Annual Writing Contest, and maintains membership in the  Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society and Sigma Lambda Leadership Honor Society. 

Aside from performing well academically, Natalie worked on campus as a Student Worker for the Center for Career Development and then transitioned into a Graduate Assistant position as a Master's-level student in the office. Not surprisingly, she held several leadership positions on campus. As Vice President and Treasurer of the Spanish Club, and Member Development Chair and Academic Chair of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, Natalie developed noteworthy skills that made her uniquely qualified as a CFP applicant, and further contributed to her success and growth as a CFP intern. 

As an aspiring teacher, Natalie tutored children through Adelphi's America Reads / America Counts program, and worked as a camp counselor. She also student taught for several years in local districts such as, Hempstead Public School District, Barack Obama Elementary School, Valley Stream Union Free School District 24,  and Brooklyn Avenue Elementary School. Natalie sought to wholly serve her community and thus ultimately applied for the CFP, in which she was placed the the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in the Summer of 2010. There, she provided members with various programs and services, conducted home visits to those living with MS, and researched and wrote grant proposals to fund Wellness Programs. Through this initiative, Ms. Eisenkraft was fully prepared to take on her own class and is now employed by the New York City Department of Education, in The Science and Medicine Middle School (SMMS), in Brooklyn, NY, as a sixth grade Special Education Teacher. 

When we reached out to Ms. Eisenkraft regarding her experiences with Community Fellows here is what she had to say:

Q: What impact did the Community Fellows Program have on your personal development?

A:  I am a Tri-Delta sister and our philanthropy is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I learned how to raise awareness and fundraise on a small scale through various Adelphi campus events. But I was also exposed to fundraising and marketing during my stay with the The National MS Society, The Long Island Chapter. 

Personally, the Community Fellows Program helped me to develop insight into the non-profit sector. Working at The National MS Society, The Long Island Chapter, was unique in that I was actually able to see and interact with the members the organization helps. As a Membership Outreach intern, I would call people and ask them how they were doing and inform them on the many services the non- profit offers for people with, or family members with, the debilitating disease that is MS. This just reassured me that a “helping career” like teaching is the right choice for me. 

Working at The Science and Medicine Middle School, we begin to build our students’ exposure to the world of science. We have assemblies and awareness days on different illnesses. Even though my days  as an outreach intern have passed, I still feel the need to teach my students about different organizations like The National MS Society which have been created to help those in need. Our students pick different organizations to raise awareness through their own fundraising efforts.

Q: How did interning at your nonprofit impact your career trajectory?

A: I had just finished my sophomore year the summer I began my internship at The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Long Island chapter. I was always certain that teaching would be the field for me but I wanted to learn more about other non-profits and what kind of careers there were out there. I figured this was the chance to do something totally different than teaching. I have taken the skills I learned at my internship into the classroom. In my current role as a teacher at SMMS, we are creating learning experiences for our students to gain exposure to different diseases and the organizations that help raise awareness.  

Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you say to current students considering applying for this year's Community Fellows?

A: This is an opportunity to explore career options. Even if you think you are certain of the field you would like to pursue after graduation, use this internship as a stepping stone exposing yourself to the real world. Adelphi has this unique paid internship program. Where else can you be a young college student and learn about and work at the different non-profits in your community? Only Adelphi can prepare you by providing hands-on learning.

To all of this year's Community Fellows, enjoy your experiences and like Natalie suggests, use it to expose yourself to something great! 

Friday, May 8, 2015

TBT: Raisa Turner


Teaching for Success!

Raisa Turner, 2013 graduate, has her Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education and Teaching and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. In addition to excelling academically, Raisa was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Sigma Lambda Honor Society, Rho Lambda Honor Society, and the Leadership Certificate Program. She also was a Dance Instructor at New Hope Christian Fellowship. Raisa's motivation to inspire others was also evidenced by her participation in the African, Black & Caribbean Studies Program at Adelphi and her roles as an Orientation Leader, After School Counselor, and Camp Counselor. Experiences like these, in conjunction with her drive to serve the community, made Raisa especially qualified for experiential learning opportunities, such as the Community Fellows Program (CFP). 


Raisa believes in utilizing her creativity to benefit others, and support programs that help at-risk students and under-served communities. In 2011, Raisa put her talents to good use and interned at Make-A-Wish Foundation as an Event Coordinator. Read below to see what she had to say about her experience:
Q: What impact did the Community Fellows Program have on your personal development?

A: The Community Fellows Program greatly impacted my personal development by showing me how blessed and privileged my life is. Many people, specifically children that I worked with at my internship, really had it hard because of very extreme complications. It was my duty through my internship to bring joy to their lives that they can live worry-free for a moment. I had to truly self-reflect and complain less knowing that there were people out there who had worse circumstances than me. It was truly a humbling experience.

Q: How did interning at your nonprofit impact your career trajectory?

A: Interning at my nonprofit impacted my career trajectory by reaffirming exactly what I was called to do, which was to be that example and role model for young children and to teach and help them grow in all aspects of life. Working at my non-profit showed me that no matter how challenging these people’s lives were, they had supporters in their lives and people who were willing to help in any way. Helping and serving the community has always been rewarding for me.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you say to current students considering applying for this year's Community Fellows?

A: I would tell them to definitely apply for it because it opens up your world to many different experiences that could be life-changing. The impact and the difference you can make in someone’s life is priceless and you learn a lot about yourself through the process. There is nothing to lose by applying and a lot to gain. Overall, it just makes you a better person in life.

Q: What impact did your presence have on the nonprofit where you interned? What about the community it served?

A: Working at Make-A-Wish foundation, I was the one who set up all the itineraries for the trips and events scheduled for families who have a child that was terminally ill. So I did the background work and gave it to the workers who would bring the good news to them and send them on their way. There was this one itinerary that I was working on for a terminally ill child and his family in Queens to go to Disney World. My supervisor then asked me to help a co-worker deliver the good news to the family. As I went to drop it off and tell them about the trip they were about to have, I was so anxious to see how this would play out. It was very exciting! They were so happy! I was so glad to experience this one moment of delivering the good news to a family and seeing their reactions on their faces. The joy they had was priceless. I was so happy to be a part of something so life-changing. I was able to get to know the family as well as we talked about this trip.



Raisa gained additional experience by student teaching in the Hempstead School District. Upon graduating, she immediately landed a job at Success Academy Charter Schools, where she teaches 5th Grade Math and Literacy. Raisa is an inspiration to her peers, community, and students. Her motivation to help, support, and encourage others is unmatched and speaks to her compassion and altruism. 

This summer, remember to get involved and serve your community! In this wise words of Mahatma Ghandi:
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."


Friday, May 1, 2015

TBT: Joenni Abreu

From Girl Scouts to Law School:
Joenni Abreu '12

In the Summer of 2010, Joenni Abreu interned as a Community Fellow at Girl Scouts of Nassau County. Not only did she develop and implement summer initiatives for girls in various school districts on Long Island, but she also met her best friend! Let's backtrack ... 

In 2008, even before coming to college at Adelphi, Joenni was an Assistant Education Manager at um, The New York Times. Incredible, right? There, she revised and compiled drafts of curriculum guides and organized Appreciation Days for Teachers. Impressively, Joenni entered college with not only this experience but with a New York Times scholarship to show for it. As she continued with her education, Joenni accumulated additional awards within the Communications Department, and for her writing. We are so proud of her accomplishments!


When Joenni applied for the Community Fellows Program (CFP), she had a plethora of experiences under her belt. For example, Joenni was a Peer Assistant Leader (PAL), a note taker, and a tour guide. Additionally, she worked with children over the summer in Brooklyn, assisting and supervising projects and activities, and also volunteered over Spring Break to help impoverished families in Costa Rica. By the time Joenni was ready to embark on her journey as a Community Fellow, this charitable, intelligent, and cultured student (who is also bi-lingual) was ready to take action! 

At the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Joenni described her experience as such:

"It was so much fun going to all the schools every week and presenting educational programs that the girls enjoyed. The experience proved to be both fun and educational for the girls we visited. We primarily focused on minority students that did not ordinarily join the traditional Girl Scouts during the school year. By providing this experience, the girls became a part of the organization and learned to cherish the values it embraces. It was truly incredible to see that by the end of the summer, they could all recite the Girl Scout promise.
The organization was very happy with the extra help we provided. We created more projects to bring along with us on our visits to the schools and provided extra supervision of the students we worked with. Instead of having other Girl Scout employees volunteer their time to help with the programs, we provided enough help so that they did not have to miss out on their duties at work. All around, I feel we helped the organization be more productive that summer."

Joenni also said that this summer internship experience helped her realize that she wanted to work for the greater good and be surrounded by individuals with the same mission and dedication to the community. According to Joenni:

"After the CFP experience, I realized that regardless of what career path I chose, I wanted to be involved in community service. After my acceptance to law school, I helped a victim of domestic abuse obtain a divorce as a student volunteer, and interned at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY. Whether its helping clients directly or providing help at the government level, I want my efforts to go towards providing for the public good."

So, not only does the CFP help interns learn about their field, but the experience has lasting effects that continue to impact the students throughout their personal and career development. 

Since Joenni's CFP internship, she has done noteworthy things. She has been a legal intern for two esteemed firms, which enabled her to conduct her own research, review and revise legal documents, and assist staff counsel in investigating complaints. Most recently, Joenni interned with the Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court, and applied to law school. She is now a student at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, pursuing her goals and reaching her aspirations!


When we asked Joenni what she would say to prospective Fellows, she stated this:

"I would tell those considering the program to go for it! I met my best friend through the Community Fellows Program and developed great friendships with the people I worked with. Even years after the program, I still keep in touch with my supervisor and once in a while, we all meet up to watch a movie or go to dinner. Not only will the program give you an amazing opportunity to help those that need you the most, it can also be an amazing opportunity to develop lifelong friendships with people that share the same values as you do. I wish I could go back and do it all over again!"

I hope this inspires you to get involved, take action, and make the most of your Summer internships/ job experiences! There is no time like the present and with success stories such as Joenni's,  I urge you to challenge yourself and dream big!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

TBT: Reaz Khan

Reaz Khan '13: Seasoned by Experience 

Brace yourself Panthers, what you are about to read may blow your mind. There are not enough words to describe Reaz Khan and his global experiences. If his story does not inspire you to travel and see the world, I do not know what will. So get ready ladies and gentleman, we are delving into Reaz's story. 


In 2013, Mr. Khan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies, with a concentration in Political Science, and a minor in Latin American Studies. Ambitious, I know. In addition to keeping up with his studies, Reaz was involved with the Adelphi University Levermore Global Scholars Program and Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, and also received the Newman Civic Fellows Award for founding and organizing the LGS Inter-faith Initiative. Reaz served as President of the Muslim Students' Association and as a Student Leader at the Interfaith Youth Core Leadership Institute in Philadelphia. Impressively, Reaz was a Community Advocate through a Yale University initiative, "Pathways for Mutual Respect," and acted as a Student Delegate for the United Nations Youth Assembly. If you cannot keep up with his success, I do not blame you.

Currently, Reaz works as an English Teacher at the New York Studio of Languages in Istanbul, Turkey, and was previously teaching at the International School of Choueifat in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. To get to where he is now, Reaz needed the proper global experience and exposure to diverse populations. Luckily, he had. For example, Reaz worked as a tutor for the American Reads/ America Counts program for several years and also as an Intern Assistant at the Museum of Tolerance. But, he didn't stop there. Reaz volunteered for English Language Schools as a Language Instructor, helping facilitate international students' assimilation into the Adelphi community. He also was a Student Activist as part of the NY2NO program in New Orleans, LA, promoting urban farming and social justice in a youth-led coalition. Keep in mind, many of these experiences occurred prior to his inauguration into the Community Fellows Program (CFP). Reaz has additional experience in politics, fundraising, and group leading. It is thus no surprise that he was selected twice to represent the Community Fellows Program throughout his undergraduate career. 

In 2011, Reaz was a Community Engagement Intern at the International Center for Photography. There, he conducted gallery talks, led individual and group tours, and partook in a variety of Visitor Services duties. The following year, in 2012, Reaz joined the team at National Urban League, as an Entrepreneur Intern, where he learned the essentials of how to operate a business, and contributed to the expansion of the Entrepreneurship Assistance Program. 


Reaz has been kind enough to share with us his words of wisdom regarding his CFP internship experiences which have in turn, qualified him for and encouraged him to explore varying and exciting opportunities around the globe. Read below to learn more.


Q: What impact did the Community Fellows Program have on your personal development?

A: The Community Fellows Program was able to instill within me a passion to always look for opportunity. Having participated in the program for two summers, I was able to gain insights into the impact the nonprofit sector has on the lives of everyday people.  Being engaged in this type of work has inspired me to give back to those around me however I can and made me a more civic-minded individual.

Q: How did interning at your nonprofit impact your career trajectory?

A: Working at both the International Center of Photography and the National Urban League through the Community Fellows Program molded my communication, leadership and organizational skills. My role at these two organizations made me realize the importance of being dedicated to the mission of the company you work for. That will result in you giving your one hundred percent. I have realized I want to be involved in organizations that are aligned with my goals in order to achieve my fullest potential.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you say to current students considering applying for this year's Community Fellows?

A: I would definitely recommend being open to any experience available. Quite often, prospective Community Fellows get bogged down in wanting to be selected for a particular opportunity or organization. It is important to step out of your comfort zone, even if it isn’t directly related to your major. Being open to any nonprofit and location can possibly lead to making the most unexpected connections or maybe even job opportunities down the line.

Q: What impact did your presence have on the nonprofit where you interned? What about the community it served?

A: In both of my roles, I worked in a clerical and administrative capacity. Working in the New York City area with clients, both organizations were able to improve their relations with the people they serve because of my efforts through my summer experience. 


Reaz noted words like, "passion, insight, inspired, dedicated, and open." These are especially relevant and powerful words speaking to the core mission of the Community Fellows Program: to provide experiential learning to devout students while giving back to the community and serving the greater good. 

As some of you may be hearing back about your internship placements soon, keep Reaz's words in mind: "step out of your comfort zone and be open to any experience available." It is an exciting time to embark on new adventures, as the semester wraps up and the summer commences. Be enthusiastic, be curious, and be hungry to make a change by being involved. As a professor of mine used to say, "the choice is yours - make it a great day or not." I encourage you all to make it a great day! 


"Wherever you go, go with all your heart"