Using technology to facilitate education and enriching the lives of teen moms.

Community Fellow Uses Technology to Facilitate Education

Mahnoor MisbahMahnoor Misbah ’14
B.A. in Political Science
Community Fellow at: Global Kids
Awarded 2012 Community Fellow of the Year

Over the summer, I had the amazing opportunity to intern for the non-profit organization, Global Kids, which works towards the empowerment of urban youth to become lifelong leaders.  I was particularly interested in the Online Leadership Program which uses technology and digital media to accomplish the organization’s goals of educating and preparing adolescents for college and future careers. 

Traveling throughout the five boroughs with the Global Kids’ staff, we visited different middle schools and high schools. We worked with students, helping them create educational games, teaching them how they can voice their opinion using technology (such as blogging), and encouraging them to take on leadership roles.  The interactions I had with the incredible young people were so meaningful.  I was able to get so much out of my internship because I made sure to take initiative and contribute everything that I could.  For example, I volunteered to run some workshops that staff members would typically run because I wanted to follow the advice we were constantly giving to our youth; to be a leader. 

I would advise future interns to get out of their comfort zone and try to be as involved as possible. Be social, interact with your co-workers, and get advice from them whenever you run into a problem.  In an internship, you will have to deal with people from all walks of life, so be open-minded and able to adapt to situations.  Never say no immediately to a project because you are intimidated by it.  Try your best to tackle challenges, and don’t be shy in asking your adviser or co-workers for help.  Most importantly, establish goals for yourself as an intern and try to work towards them, and you’ll be surprised by just how much you can achieve in one summer.

Check out Mahnoor’s blog entries to learn more about her summer experience at Global Kids:

Community Fellow Enriches the Lives of Teen Moms

Crista GalloCrista Gallo ’13
B.A. in Psychology
Community Fellow at: Catholic Charities’ Regina Residence

As I applied for the Community Fellows Program last spring, I knew I was getting myself into something wonderful – something life changing.  I had heard countless inspirational stories from both colleagues and faculty. When I looked deeper into the program, I knew this was an experience I wanted to embark upon. And let me just say – I am so glad I did. 

As an eager psychology major at Adelphi University, I constantly strive to engage in new experiences that will better my clinical practice.  For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of being a clinical psychologist, helping others help themselves.  In order to pursue such a rewarding career, a psychology major must not only study theory, but must research and practice it as well. 

As a result of unrelenting dedication to their students, the Psychology Department has led me down a path filled with success, happiness, and insight. Currently, I am the President of the Psychology Club, Vice President of Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology, and Student Coordinator of the Emerging Scholars Research Program. I have partaken in multiple internships, including two at the prestigious North Shore LIJ Zucker Hillside Psychiatric Hospital. However, this past summer, I interned at a unique residential facility as part of the Community Fellows Program. Though I did not know much about the Catholic Charities organization, I was intrigued by the journey before me.

When I arrived at the Regina Residence for teenage mothers and their children, I did not know what to expect. The supervisors were extremely supportive and immediately met me with hospitality. I was handed a booklet and explained the rules, goals, objectives, and intensity of the program. After a tour of the 16-person house, I was given a key ring of 20 or so keys.  Though this was slightly intimidating, I was up for this challenge.  I knew I would be walking into their home as a stranger and therefore I did not expect them to immediately befriend.  I was introduced to four teenage mothers, one pregnant teen, and five beautiful children. Since the moment I entered that nursery, I can honestly say I fell in love with the people inside of it.

As a “Resident Supervisor” of the Regina Residence, I monitored the teenagers and their babies, took them to doctor’s appointments, drove them to work, ran errands with them to pick up food, and coordinated recreational activities.  I spent ample time with the children, learned about the teen moms and the adversities they faced, and most of all, I witnessed the emotional and physical growth of both the mothers and their children. This gratifying experience has truly left me humbled.

By the end of the summer, I knew what every child ate, what every cry meant, and when each child needed a nap. I observed one baby crawl, another take his first steps, and another learn how to speak. I was able to sense when a mother was feeling down and was able to help her cope with whatever emotional stress she had been facing.  I am so blessed to have been given such a remarkable and rewarding experience. The bond I shared with the girls and the memories I created with their children have touched my heart in a way that I will never forget. Going into this experience, I was hoping to make an impact on their lives; however, I never anticipated how much they would affect my life and influence it for the better.

Though this 300-hour internship experience was tiring and somewhat difficult at times, I could not imagine spending my summer any other way. The Community Fellows Program provided me with an exceptional opportunity as both a psychology major and as a growing young adult.  I urge each and every individual who is motivated and seeks to gain further experience, to apply for the Community Fellows Program and explore the beauty behind nonprofit organizations. 

Interning at the Regina Residence has changed my life and my global perspective.  Though my summer stint is over, I continue to volunteer there. Watching the girls grow as mothers and as individuals, and witnessing the babies develop into such beautiful children has been an experience that I have so deeply enjoyed.  I will forever be grateful for this opportunity.

» Learn more about the Community Fellows Program

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Todd Wilson
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