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!