Sandy relief work only reinforced what Joyce Liu has wanted to do since high school: help people.

By Kyana Valerio

The wrath of Superstorm Sandy hit the New York area in late October 2012. Sweeping up the East Coast of the United States, it left millions without power, thousands without homes and dozens dead. Many Long Island neighborhoods and communities mounted relief efforts to help victims of Sandy. One of those socially conscious people is Joyce Liu, a junior at Adelphi University working on a double major in social work and criminal justice.


Joyce, who volunteered for the School of Social Work’s Sandy relief efforts on November 17, went to Oceanside and Long Beach, where she cleaned two basements and a couple of churches. “Being able to see the aftermath firsthand was really horrific,” Joyce said. “It really makes me think about global warming and how hard it is to be fully prepared for such natural disasters. On the other hand,” she added, “it’s really great how so many people have come together and helped each other.”

The Sandy relief work only reinforced what Joyce has wanted to do since her senior year of high school: help people.

Joyce, now ambitious, joined the General Studies (GS) Learning Community in 2011 as an admitted slacker who procrastinated about everything. “GS really helped me because I have met some of the most dedicated professors in this University,” she said. “These professors are the most genuine. They really want to help you succeed.”

The GS program taught her how to write her first research paper, which is highly important given her majors. Last semester, she got a 3.5 GPA, meaning she’s doing very well academically, and she has learned how to manage her time and workload.

Once she graduates, she wants to find a part-time job in social work. “After getting my master’s and license, I want to go into foster care, then 10 to 20 years down the road I would like to open my own nonprofit organization,” she said.

“Once you become a part of the GS program, you never truly leave— because whenever you need help, they are more than willing to help you. And I am truly grateful for that.”

This piece appeared in the Spring 2013 Issue of the General Studies Learning Community Newsletter.

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