Thursday, June 11, 2015

Then & Now: Alexis Gregos

Alexis Gregos: Then & Now

This Psych Major discovered a sense of belonging 

as her CFP internship led to a Full time job:

Alexis Gregos, '14, impressively just completed her Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology with an Advanced Certificate in Human Resource Management, from Adelphi University. Prior to that in 2012, Ms. Gregos completed her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology at Adelphi. This ambitious young lady is passionate about helping others and giving back to the community, and supports causes advocating for animal welfare, arts and culture, children, education, the environment, health, and disaster and humanitarian relief. In 2011, Alexis was a student intern through the Community Fellows Program (CFP) at Music and Memory, a non-profit organization seeking to improve quality of life for those elder or ill, through personalized music. At Music and Memory, Alexis and her colleagues, sought to make therapeutic music a standard of care throughout the health care industry. Alexis proved her dedication to this organization, its clientele, and the nonprofit sector, by working as their Community Outreach Coordinator, since 2013. She is still currently employed by Music and Memory and when asked to discuss her career development, starting with the CFP, she had this to say to us: 


Q: What impact did the Community Fellows Program have on your personal development?

A:  The Community Fellows Program greatly impacted my personal development by:
  • teaching me to go after the things I wanted
  • how to treat people with the utmost respect
  • how to listen when being spoken to
  • how to be meticulous in everything I do
When I first applied for the CFP, I knew nothing about how non-profits worked, how they differed from other types of organizations, and the types of people who worked for non-profit organizations. The CFP helped me improve so many personal qualities that are not only looked for in a professional but is expected from an Adelphi University student.

Q: How did interning at your nonprofit impact your career trajectory?

A: First and foremost, if I never applied to be a Community Fellow, I would not be where I am today. At the time I had applied, not only had I never heard of the organization I currently work for, Music & Memory, but I was really unsure about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. Like many people, I had many interests but nothing that stood out. I never got the feeling this is what I need to be doing until I applied for the CFP and met with Dan Cohen. I interned with him all summer long and stayed in contact with him when I started back at school; I then started working for him part time and am now a full time employee at Music & Memory. My experiences as an intern a few summers ago is very similar to what I do on a daily basis here and I finally found that feeling of knowing where I belong. I wake up every single day excited to be working at Music & Memory. I love the people I work with, I love the people I interact with on a daily basis and most importantly, I learn something every single day which really has just been unbelievable.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you say to current students considering applying for this year's Community Fellows?

A: Knowing what I know now, there are two pieces of advice I would give to current students who are considering applying for this years CFP: (1) do it and (2) do not be afraid of what is thrown your way. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to just try something and see where it takes you. When I was an intern, I had a very difficult experience that made me really question my career path and my internship. I so desperately wanted to quit and never look back but was advised to just talk to my superiors and discuss my options. Once I did, I was so thankful that I stuck it through and didnt quit. It is so important to go after something you want but it is also really important to communicate with those around you. Talk about your problems and your feelings with people you trust  and who can help guide you, because when you are in a situation so deep, you may not be able to see options.

Q: What impact did your presence have on the nonprofit where you interned? What about the community it served?

A: When I first started out at Music & Memory, the staff consisted of just the Executive Director, Dan, myself, and another Community Fellow. The organization was very new and most of what we did was a lot of trial and error; Dan and I talk about this all the time. He asked me to set up a Facebook page for the non-profit and in order to be a real organization on Facebook, we had to get 25 “followers”. We just hit our 10,000 follower mark last month and we talk about how much has changed and how much we have grown and learned since those very first 25 followers.  

One of the projects I worked on as an intern in 2011 was a spreadsheet of the top 25 languages spoken in the US and top artists in those languages. It was very time consuming and tedious but it was a phenomenal project that I got to work on. Every single facility that gets certified in the Music & Memory program (over 1,000 places at the moment) receives that spreadsheet for their residents who speak other languages and may have Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or difficulty communicating their needs. 

One of the things I love about working for Music & Memory is getting to interact with people from all over the world, that I get to talk to and listen to. They tell me their stories and the reason behind why they want to volunteer for us; I then place them with local facilities. They either get to visit nursing home residents who have never received a visitor before or run a fundraiser to get new facilities certified which will grant dozens of people access to their music. This ensures more memories will come to life and more relationships will be made. 


It is impressive and humbling to see Alexis continue to work for Music and Memory and help serve the underserved. As you can see, working in the nonprofit sector is not only rewarding but can provide opportunities for growth and professional development. So remember folks, get involved, put in the effort, and spread your kindness. Here at the Center for Career Development, we wish you the happiest, healthiest, and most memorable of summers! 

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