SSLD Fellowship

SSLD Fellowship

From a young age I was always inspired to
bring change within the world around me. Um, and I saw that most with marginalized
communities, especially communities of color. The change that I would like to see in the
world, is specifically in the context of schools. There’s a lot of paternalistic notions of
what learning is. I envision a world where young people of color
really have an opportunity to blossom in the field of STEM, STEM being science, technology,
engineering and mathematics. The change that I want to see in the world
is that, you know, every girl can get her opportunity to go to school and to become
a positive change to their own communities. Hi, my name is Raquel Reynoso and I’m from
New York City. I attend the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of
Public and Non-Profit Management and I’m pursuing an MPA in Management work. Hi, my name is Trenton Marsh. I’m originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio. I’m part of the Steinhardt School, I’m
in the Teaching and Learning department and my concentrations are urban education and
social psychology. Hi, my name is Russell Ledet and I’m originally
from Lake Charles, Louisiana. I’m a part of the NYU School of Medicine
and my PhD is going to be in Molecular Oncology and Tumor Immunology. Hi, my name is Fan and I come from China. Right now I’m studying at NYU Wagner for
my MPA degree in Public Policy and Public Administration. The Social Sector Leadership Diversity Fellowship
is an 18-month leadership development program that prepares graduate students of color to
become change makers in the social sector. We cultivate a network of graduate students
from across NYU and through retreats, workshops, and personalized coaching, we create a family-like
support system that prepares them for leadership once they graduate. It enables individuals of color to come together
to have conversations about leadership development, have conversations about what our narratives
are and I think that’s important because at the end of the day we’re the individuals
that are going to be a part of larger sector tables, leadership tables, and it’s important
for us to understand what it means to be a person of color in the context of NYU and
then broadly speaking what it means to be a person of color who wants to impact the
world. We took a trip up to Washington, DC where
we spent a great deal of time over a weekend just sort of sharing our issues and maybe
things that we probably weren’t too comfortable to share um, in our normal professional environments
but there I was able to foster trust. I always had these ideas as to what was needed
in order to bring change but by being able to not only receive the resources from SSLD
but also be inspired by my fellow classmates, I’ve been able to really focus on what I
want to do in a much more impacting way. I joined the Leadership Initiative because
I believe in the power of students to create change both at school and in the world if
given a chance. So everyday, I come to work asking, how can
I make sure that my students have as many opportunities or more than I had when I was
a grad student. The SSLD program allowed us to meet with a
career coach, both as a cohort, as a group, and both on an individual level. And I believe it was really the sense of support
of being seen, of being heard, but also gently being pushed in a specific direction, um,
is what helped us to, at the end, secure many of our next steps in terms of after graduation. The networking skills, the mentorship opportunities
and all kinds of consultations between- among the fellows- it helps me to understand how
to communicate my experience and my skills to the others so that I can call for actions
for my own cause. There are many opportunities that you’re
given at NYU, but I can honestly say in my three and a half years, no other opportunity
has made me a much better student than this SSLD program. And that, particular, unique experience has
really made me a much better scientist, a much better father, a much better husband,
and most importantly, a much better person.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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