John Jay Leadership Serves Community Service Students At An Appreciation Dinner

John Jay Leadership Serves Community Service Students At An Appreciation Dinner

John Jay Leadership Serves Community Service Students At An Appreciation Dinner

John Jay’s Community Outreach and Service Learning (COSL) has a saying: Talk with your feet. And, that’s exactly what John Jay’s Leadership Team did at the appreciation dinner on March 12. Everyone, including President Karol Mason, Provost Yi Li, and COSL Director of Community Outreach Declan Walsh, served the many students that spend countless hours each semester helping others. After the students enjoyed the fancy passed hors d'oeuvres and a lively set of tunes from a string quartet, President Mason gave a few words of thanks.

“In just one year, our students have committed over 6,900 hours of community service.”—Karol V. Mason, President of John Jay College

“In just one year, our students have committed over 6,900 hours of community service. You’re working with homeless LGBTQ youth. You’re working with Professor Isabel Martinez helping unaccompanied minors with asylum cases. You’re helping to bridge the gap between young people and the police,” said Mason, counting just a few of the many projects the students had contributed to. “As Muhammad Ali once said, ‘Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.’ Well you’re all paying your rent in full.” To find out more about the good work John Jay students are doing in our communities, we chatted with a few of them throughout the evening.

Provost Yi Li serving Matheos Carvalho De Godoy
Provost Yi Li serving Matheos Carvalho De Godoy

Matheos Carvalho De Godoy ’20
Community service helps create positivity and growth in the community. I work at Teens for Food Justice, specifically at a hydroponic lab, gardening and growing plants. I teach the high school students there, and they take the information back to their own community. I teach them the difference between good food and bad food. If you show kids how to grow plants—we grow tomatoes, pickles, lettuce—they'll bring it home and show their friends, and then more people want to come in to learn. It's a great experience and you see the joy that they have.
 

Dana Trimboli, Senior Director of Student Affairs servingCommunity Service Students
Dana Trimboli, Senior Director of Student Affairs serving (left to right) Raieesa Farzan, Matheos Carvalho De Godoy, Segun Omotayo, James Bowman, Heiner Baez, and Shanaj Akhtar

Segun Omotayo ’19
Community service work is about making life better for others. I currently intern at the Business Improvement District at 125th Street where I help with the data management. This work is important because it's all about the numbers. If you can track data and numbers, then you can learn how something is changing overtime, you can see the differences and figure out how to make it better.

President Karol Mason serving James Bowman
President Karol Mason serving James Bowman

“Giving back to the community is important to me. I grew up with a good support team, so I figured that one of the ways I can give back to my community is by being a help to others.” —James Bowman ’16

James Bowman ’16
I was part of the Community Service Council back in 2014, when I was a College Relations Coordinator. I would be in charge of conducting my own events and collaborating with others to conduct their own events. Giving back to the community is important to me. I grew up with a good support team, so I figured that one of the ways I can give back to my community is by being a help to others.

Heiner Baez and Shanaj Akhtar enjoy treats from President Mason’s tray
Heiner Baez and Shanaj Akhtar enjoy treats from President Mason’s tray

Heiner Baez ’19
My position at the CUNY Service Corp is at a not-for-profit called World Care Center. We try to help those who are low income or at higher risk for natural disasters. What we deem important in our corporation is helping those who don't know or don't realize that they are at risk until the disaster actually hits them. It's important because it can help those around you.

The John Jay Leadership Team, ready to serve
The John Jay Leadership Team, ready to serve

Shanaj Akhtar ’19
I work at the American Museum of Natural History with scientists and help facilitate programs. This work has helped me with my communication skills. I am an introverted person, and I am not someone who would talk to others easily, but my community service experience has helped me feel confident to speak to others. It is our responsibility to help our community to grow.

The string quartet entertained the audience
The string quartet entertained the audience with classical, hip-hop,
rock and pop music renditions

“CUNY Citizenship Now helped my parents become citizens, and now I want to pay that forward and give back by helping others.” —Raieesa Farzan

Raieesa Farzan ’19
I worked with CUNY Citizenship Now, helping immigrants get green cards and fill out applications to get naturalized. My parents are from Sri Lanka and because of CUNY Citizenship Now they were able to get naturalized. If it weren’t for this organization, they probably would not have gotten naturalized and gotten free legal advice. CUNY Citizenship Now helped my parents become citizens, and now I want to pay that forward and give back by helping others.
 

Shanaj Akhtar; Rama Sudhakar, Chief Communications Officer; Raieesa Farzan
Shanaj Akhtar; Rama Sudhakar, Chief Communications Officer; Raieesa Farzan

Quardear Harris '19
As a student counselor, working with at-risk, troubled youth in the Bronx, I helped public high school students in the ninth through 12th grade, counseling them on their academics and behaviors. I was helping seniors with college applications and financial aid stuff. It was very rewarding to help these students because I can identify with and relate to them. My ultimate career goal is to be a probation or parole officer so that I can still work with people, help rehabilitate them, while having the law enforcement aspect. This community service experience has really helped shape my goals.

Quardear Harris picking up an hors d'oeuvre from Declan Walsh’s tray
Quardear Harris picking up an hors d'oeuvre from Declan Walsh’s tray

Paula Melendez ’22
We went to Puerto Rico on a service trip to help families still recovering from Hurricane Maria's impact. We helped clean a guy’s home because it was up in the mountains and all the dirt came down and tore the house apart. We also helped a lady fix her front yard because it was damaged. The whole time I was thinking how similar she was to my aunt. This could happen to anyone. It was emotional and reminded me of my home, the Dominican Republic.

Anily Rozario, Associate Professor Carmen Solis in the SEEK Department, Al Edouard, and Paula Melendez
Anily Rozario, Associate Professor Carmen Solis in the SEEK Department, Al Edouard, and Paula Melendez

“The easiest way to get to know people and understand their situation is by going into their community and helping them.”—Anily Rozario ’21

Anily Rozario ’21
I was on the Puerto Rico trip and it was a life changing experience. It was the first time I went to the Caribbean, and the people were amazing and so welcoming. It was heartbreaking to see how our government isn't doing enough to help its own citizens. We need to come together and help people. Sadly I can’t help folks back in my home of Bangladesh, where we experience natural disasters and flooding all the time, but when the opportunity to help someone comes up, I take it. The easiest way to get to know people and understand their situation is by going into their community and helping them.

Steve Titan, Vice President for Finance having a moment with Al Edouard, Paula Melendez, and Anily Rozario
Steve Titan, Vice President for Finance, having a moment with Al Edouard, Paula Melendez, and Anily Rozario

“A lot of people don’t like to discuss the fact that we have a population of John Jay students that are homeless, but those students need to know that they will be supported and we have the resources to help them.” — Al Edouard

Al Edouard ’19
One event the Community Outreach and Service Learning team is working on is the 24-hour sleep out. It's going to be a 24-hour simulation where students get to experience the life of a homeless individual. We are going to raise awareness and have various activities. At the end of it, students will get to sleep here at John Jay overnight. The whole point is to shed some light on a crisis that we face every day around the city and at school. A lot of people don’t like to discuss the fact that we have a population of John Jay students that are homeless, but those students need to know that they will be supported and we have the resources to help them. It's about raising awareness, raising solidarity and saying that we are going to be the generation to help fix this epidemic and the crisis.

More scenes from the event:

Leadership Serves Community Service Students Event

Leadership Serves Community Service Students Event

Leadership Serves Community Service Students Event

Leadership Serves Community Service Students Event

Leadership Serves Community Service Students Event

Leadership_Serves_Community_Service_Students6

Leadership Serves Community Service Students Event

Leadership Serves Community Service Students Event

Leadership Serves Community Service Students Event

Leadership Serves Community Service Students Event

Leadership Serves Community Service Students Event