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."


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