This post was written by Adrielle Jefferson ’17
This summer, I have had the incredible opportunity to work closely with the administration of the Chenango Nursery School helping to both write grants and assist with the quality review process of current programming. Chenango Nursery School (CNS) founded in 1948, is a non-profit, cooperative nursery school for children in Hamilton, NY and surrounding communities. CNS has grown and changed through the years in response to the needs of the community. It remains a fully cooperative effort of parents, a corporation owned and operated by the parents of the children attending the school. A Board of Directors comprised of parents and community members, establishes school policies and programs.
As a fellow at CNS, I have written requests for funding for professional development opportunities, playground revitalization and technology. A typical day for me begins with research and note taking and ends with a meeting with my supervisor to discuss the direction of my projects. Some days I have had the opportunity to sit in classrooms and interact with students which has been a rewarding experience.
I was interested in becoming a Field School Fellow this summer because it is a unique opportunity to use the skills I have developed as an undergraduate at Colgate University to assist organizations in the surrounding area. I wanted to build relationships with members of the local community and focus on regional projects that would have a direct effect on the community. As an Upstate Institute Fellow, I aimed to learn more about the ways in which effective community organizations can be agents of change. As a rising senior, interested in nonprofits and considering entering the education sector after graduation, working at CNS is a perfect match.
While working at CNS, I have learned a lot about the challenges small nonprofits can face as well as the power of community organizing and advocacy. I am confident that while working for CNS I will be able to research and write several grant proposals that will help CNS to achieve its goals. I hope to be a helpful member of the CNS team and to improve my professional writing and public speaking skills. I am looking forward to continuing my work at CNS!