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!

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