During the Spring 2017 semester, I worked at Fiver Children’s Foundation as their Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, an opportunity afforded to me by Colgate’s Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE). Fiver is an educational and developmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to empower children from underserved communities to make positive life choices. This is done through year-round events, support from the New York City office, and a sleep-away summer camp experience in Poolville, NY. The name Fiver, inspired by Richard Adams’ 1972 novel, Watership Down, is also an acronym that stands for “friend, individual, valuable team player, environmentalist, and risk taker.”
I first attended Camp Fiver during the summer of 2006. In 2015, after nine years of involvement, I graduated from the program just before the beginning of my freshman year at Colgate. Like many Fiver alumni, I immediately began thinking of ways to give back as soon as I left. Given my location in Hamilton, my means of giving back prior to working at the Foundation included mentoring local Fivers and volunteering in the kitchen while camp was in session. This job allowed me to not only give back, but to also become the voice of Fiver’s social media accounts.
As the social media and marketing coordinator, I worked under the guidance of Rachel Sangalang, who currently serves as the development and marketing manager at Fiver’s New York City office. My typical work week began with a phone check-in with Ms. Sangalang to discuss and plan our social media activity for the week. After our check-in, I would draft and schedule Facebook and Instagram posts for each day of the week. In general, my posts consisted of informational articles that pertained to Fiver’s mission or attributes, advertisements for Fiver events, and something inspirational to brighten up the news feeds of our subscribers. Near the end of the semester, we began our summer camp promotion to get kids excited to go away to camp in the summer.
My work concluded on the evening of Thursday, May 25th, at the 14th Annual Fiver Benefit, which was held at Gotham Hall in Manhattan, NY. This event, which is Fiver’s largest fundraiser, required more social media activity than any other past project. My role at this function was to promote the event on social media as the night progressed. Partnering with Fiver’s Middle School Program Supervisor Elizabeth Ramirez, I continuously updated the Facebook and Instagram accounts, allowing anyone who was not present to follow the events of that evening. Additionally, with Colgate University being the alma mater of Fiver’s founder Tom Tucker ‘67, I was able to connect with some of his Colgate peers, all of whom are also committed to Fiver’s advancement.
One of the most important things I learned during my time at Fiver was the art of effective communication and outreach, which involves the mastery of length, tone, and timing. Since leaving Fiver, I have been able to apply these same skills and concepts to my résumé and cover letter writing, as well as during interviews.
Though my position at Fiver has officially ended, I plan to continue assisting the Foundation. In fact, I enjoyed my time there so much that I decided to spend my summer working as a Cabin Counselor for Fiver’s annual summer camp, a position that provided me with priceless memories and experiences. Furthermore, I plan to volunteer at the Fiver office in New York City whenever I get the chance. Having the opportunity to work with Fiver has allowed me to give back to an organization that has greatly contributed to my character development and current status as a Colgate student. Additionally, this opportunity allowed me to both reconnect with old friends and expand my professional network. Considering all that Fiver has done for me, I look forward to continuing my involvement with the Foundation in the future.