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" 

Friday, April 17, 2015

TBT: Samantha Baker!

Samantha Baker:

from Marketing Intern to Campaign Manager

Sam Baker, an upstate New York-native, quickly adapted to the Long Island culture her Freshman year in 2009. Sam was an active resident on campus, majoring in Business Management and minoring in Marketing. This impressive young lady received scholarships in recognition of her academic and community involvement, and was a member of the Levermore Global Scholars Program. Although not a major, Samantha took part in the Psychology Club, hoping to broaden her educational experience and deepen her understanding of human interaction and consumerism. 

In the fall of her Junior year, Sam was a Public Relations intern and learned the ropes of working in fast-paced Manhattan. During this time, Sam  communicated with magazine editors regarding featured products, created product packages, and wrote press releases. When it came time to pursue her second internship, Sam was more-than-qualified to apply for the Community Fellows Program (CFP) and work in the non-profit sector. Not only was Sam qualified, but she was prepared, determined, and destined to take this path that would positively impact her career trajectory. For the summer months, Sam was a Marketing Intern at the Institute for Student Achievement (ISA)She worked on marketing the new curriculum that the company designed for under-performing school districts in NY. Because it was focused on increasing high-school graduation rates and even college attendance rates, the long term effects on these communities was incredible. Sam said that this was a rewarding opportunity that helped prepare her for the working world and understand how businesses operate. 

Within this internship opportunity, Sam wrote press releases, developed web content, promoted products, coordinated social media, conducted market research, and worked at corporate events. When we asked Sam to discuss her internship with us, she said this: 
"I liked the environment of ISA and knew that I wanted to work in a similar environment in the future. I liked that it was small enough to know everyone in the company but large enough to really make an impact in the industry.   While I do not work for a non-profit now, I work for a start-up tech company in which a lot of the aspects are similar to my internship."

Currently, as mentioned above, Sam works at a start-up tech company, called Unruly, as a Campaign Manager in New York City. According to Sam, "understanding how the different departments interacted with each other and learning how overall goals varied across those departments is a skill that [she] has been able to take with [her] to other jobs." For those of you lucky ducks who have been selected to partake in the CFP internship, Sam offers to you a piece of advice: 
"You will gain as much as you want to gain from this internship.  Ask as many questions as possible, and be vocal about what job tasks interest you (and what tasks don’t interest you.) A lot of non-profits have an “all hands on deck” approach, so it’s a great opportunity to get involved in projects that you may have thought you were under-qualified for."

As the summer months approach, finish up strong, enjoy the beautiful weather, and get prepared to get involved in your internship!!! Don't forget to check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, to follow the journey of our CFPs as they immerse themselves in their non-profits and experiential learning experiences!