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! 

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