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Jordan Henderson ’17 Changes America one NAHOF visitor at a time

By ramann on July 26, 2016
Jordan Henderson '17 at NAHOF

Jordan Henderson ’17 at NAHOF

This post was written by Jordan Henderson ’17

The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF), located in Peterboro, NY, honors antislavery abolitionists, their work to end slavery, and the legacy of that struggle, and strives to complete the second and ongoing abolition– the moral conviction to end racism. Members of the museum have been doing great work in their community and the surrounding areas for about a decade now. I have been working directly under Dot Willsey, the former President of the cabinet here at the museum. The main tasks that I have been charged with this summer include hosting the museum on a daily basis, attending a few weekend events, and collecting and analyzing data regarding visitors’ experiences and motivations to commit to the “Second Abolition,” the eradication of racism.

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Steph Poland ’17 Works on the Consumer Bankruptcy Project at Legal Aid Society

By ramann on July 26, 2016
This post was written by Steph Poland  ’17
Steph Poland '17 and Susan Conn '79

Steph Poland ’17 and Susan Conn ’79

This summer I have had the opportunity to be an intern at Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York (LASMNY) and work directly with attorney Susan Conn, who graduated from Colgate in 1979. While interning at LASMNY, I have begun to understand the poverty levels in New York, specifically in Utica, and I have seen first-hand the impact that Legal Aid has on low-income individuals and families. Legal Aid Society is a not-for-profit law office that offers free legal information, advice, and representation to those who cannot afford an attorney. The work the people at Legal Aid do is vital for the residents of mid- New York and without the work of the secretaries, paralegals, and attorneys, many residents would be unable to receive legal aid in civil (non-criminal) cases. LASMNY provides interpreters and offers over one hundred and fifty languages to serve a wide population and offers advice regarding employment benefits, housing, special education, access to health care, divorce, family matters, domestic violence, SSD or SSI benefits, welfare, and bankruptcy.

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Meagan Herlihy ’17 organizes necessary data for Abraham House

By ramann on July 26, 2016
This post was written by Meagan Herlihy ’17
Meagan Herlihy '17 at work in Abraham House, Utica NY

Meagan Herlihy ’17 at work in Abraham House, Utica NY

Although an inevitable part of life, conversations involving death are often avoided. Society pushes aside its dying populations because the people within them cannot confront their own mortality; instead, it’s easier to ignore it. This affects the discourse around terminally ill patients of all ages. Abraham House, along with the medical support of local Hospice and Palliative Care, has been transforming the discussion on end-of-life-care. Located in Utica, Abraham House is a non-profit organization that specializes in providing 24-hour care, support and comfort, free of charge, to guests who have embraced the final moments of life. With my background in emergency medicine, interests in the medical field, and the comfort and commiseration I have around the dying, Abraham House offered the perfect fit.

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Sarah Wylie ’18, Marissa Roberge ’17 and Jinsuh Cho ’18 work with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees

By ramann on July 26, 2016
Post written by Sarah Wylie ’18, Marissa Roberge ’17 and Jinsuh Cho ’18
Sarah Wylie '18, Marissa Roberge '17 and Jinsuh Cho '18 at MVRCR

Sarah Wylie ’18,  Marissa Roberge ’17 and Jinsuh Cho ’18 at MVRCR

Marissa, Jinsuh and Sarah are working at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR). The center is located in Utica, NY where about 18% of the population is foreign born and 26% of households speak a language other than English. Utica is a sight of secondary migration meaning refugees who were resettled at other locations move to Utica as a preferred community and to reconnect with family or friends.  In the 1990s Utica experienced a sharp population decline and the resettlement of refugees has helped to stabilize the population. MVRCR assists refugees as well as immigrants and limited English proficient individuals with the community integration process by providing such in-house services as ESL classes, immigration and citizenship services and legal consultation. This is in addition to programs geared toward helping individuals achieve independence and self-sufficiency.

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Dylann McLaughlin ‘18 helps Utica Children’s Museum create new STEAM exhibit

By Upstate Institute on July 12, 2016

In a recent report produced by the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, findings showed that the region could potentially be the East Coast response to Silicon Valley. Many technology companies have set up shop in the area because of its abundant water resources and diverse population. Nanotechnology, in particular, stands to become a major presence in the Mohawk Valley. At the Utica Children’s Museum (UCM), Dylann McLaughlin ‘18 has been working on a project proposed by interim director Elizabeth Brando to establish the Museum as the beginning of a workforce development pipeline. In theory, young children would come to the UCM to learn about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) concepts and become familiarized with skills that will one day be useful in these fields. The idea is that if children can be introduced to these concepts in a fun and hands-on way, they will be much more likely to stay interested in STEAM, pursue degrees in these fields, and find careers in the Mohawk Valley area.

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Kris Pfister ’17 returns to Field School for second summer

By Upstate Institute on July 8, 2016

Kris Pfister ’17 is a Studio Art major/ Film and Media Studies minor from Galion, Ohio, and is working with two organizations this summer as a returning Field School Fellow. At the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts, she is updating a vast contact database, posting events on community calendars, assisting resident artists, and filling paint for the Seconds paint program. At Rogers Environmental Education Center, she is conducting  research and collecting information about the feasibility of an improved children’s play area.

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Adrielle Jefferson ’17 supports CNS with grant writing and quality review process

By ramann on July 5, 2016
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.

Adrielle Jefferson '17 in front of CNS

Adrielle Jefferson ’17 in front of CNS

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!