Internship Spotlight: Finding My Way To Sesame Street

So much of college revolves around much more than what we initially think. As an incoming freshman, you worry about things you realize later become small matters. You worry about making friends, dining hall food, finding your classes, declaring a major. Being a senior with an impending graduation, I look back at all those little anxieties and smile to myself because it all worked out.  Every little life lesson throughout college has fueled motivation to follow my dreams.

The truth is, you have to do things you won’t like to get where you want to be. In the midst of everything that goes on day in and day out at school, remember why you are here. Remember that your education is a privilege and you should be making the most of what school has to offer you. Yeah that English essay will be insignificant as soon as you turn it in, and that first internship of yours may have been spent fetching coffee. There will be things you don’t like that you have to do to get where you want to be. But I promise you, everything pays off even when you might not be able to see that pay off coming.

Interning with Sesame Street was something I dreamed of since my freshman year of college.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street. I work in the U.S. Social Impact Department, and it is here that all of the social initiatives that the show works on are generated. These social initiatives include topics such as military families, autism, incarceration, death, living on food stamps, divorce, injuries, and healthy eating.

Not only are these topics covered on the television show, but free resources are created for families and providers to use. These free resources are referred to as “toolkits.” These kits have articles, videos, games, etc. We also distribute free books and have smartphone applications.

One of the incredible things about Sesame Workshop is being able to see all of this come to life. Sesame Street has been a positive influence for several generations. It’s content is relevant. It’s content is real. It’s content is important.

Recently, Sesame Street announced a new television character. Th17493199_10208833767072707_2610078293750226941_ois character is Julia. She’s sweet, she’s curious, and she has autism. Through Julia, we are one step closer in teaching that all kids are amazing, and all kids can be friends.

It is a privilege to be part of this extraordinary organization and witness the incredible changes they are making in the world. From first ever characters like Cookie Monster to revolutionary characters like Julia, the world’s longest street continues to grow.

Remember how I said you’ll have to do things you won’t like to get where you want to be? Achieving my dream to intern with Sesame Street didn’t just happen out of luck. It took determination, hard work, and time. And this applies beyond the walls of college. When I cross that stage come May, I’ll have to continue to work hard. Throughout our milestones, there will always be a challenge to overcome. Let that challenge serve as motivation.

I hope you have a dream. And if you don’t, find one. And when you accomplish it, find another one. Find your way to your own Sesame Street.

Big and Little Spotlight

Phi Sigma Sigma is all about sisterhood, scholarship, and service. Being a part of a sisterhood has changed me so much, and even more so after receiving my Little, Jill! For me, being a Big was something that I was so nervous about! It’s so crazy to think you are a role model to someone. To have someone look up to you and that you’re setting an example for them. Luckily for me I was paired with the perfect Little for life and being a Big has changed me for the better! Having a Little means being there for someone, being their mentor and friend. Through all the laughs we have shared and the strong bond we have created I couldn’t imagine having a better Little than Jill! In Phi Sigma Sigma, we inspire excellence and leadership and I see that in my little. Her passion for Phi Sigma Sigma is infectious and it inspires the sorority I love her so much and all the memories we’ve made. I cannot wait to see her continue to grow inside and outside of our amazing organization. I know I have a best friend for life and I’m so happy Phi Sig brought her into my life! I also can’t wait for our family tree to grow with even more amazing young women! The big and little relationships in Phi Sigma Sigma are such a unique and important part of our sisterhood. As we approach our recruitment week I hope potential members create bonds with the sororities at Iona. After all, it is the people that make a home and I have found my people here.  -LITP Tiara

Mission Trip Spotlight: Zambia

Here are a few words from our sister, Lauren Czerniewski, on her mission trip to Zambia, Africa. 

“Twalumba,” a word that translates to thank you but, means so much more. I was blessed this Summer to have been able to go on a mission trip to Zambia, Africa. This is where I learned the true meaning of Twalumba.

While I was in Zambia, I taught in a middle school, a high school, and volunteered at a home for at risk girls. The kids were fascinated by America and wanted to know everything about it. They told me how they had dreams of one day going to college and becoming Bank managers or even going to college in America. It was inspiring seeing so many young kids be determined to have bright futures.

One thing that stood out to me during my trip was the fact that I never saw anyone frowning or upset. I only saw happy, smiling faces no matter the circumstances they were facing. All they wanted to do was help others and give whatever they could even if they didn’t have much to give. They loved every single person unconditionally no matter who you were and I will never forget that.  I went there to serve them but, I feel like they served me. They taught me that caring and love each other is all you really need in life. So, twalumba Zambia for letting me experience your beautiful culture and people.

Relay for Life: My Story, Meghan Lee

Relay for Life is something I hold close to my heart and each year I try to do my part to help raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. Whether you’re 5, 20, 78 or 100 there is no right or wrong way to learn about cancer. Cancer is a word, a disease, a demon that continues to find ways into my life and challenges me to believe in hope..but I still fight everyday for a cure.

When I was five there was a little boy in my class named James Lane who stopped coming to school one day. Our teacher had explained to us that he had passed away of brain cancer when he was only six. I’m still reminded of him every time I see a birdhouse.

When I was eight my grandpas long battle with lung cancer came to an end. I began to understand that cancer affected different people, at different ages.

When I was fifteen my best friend called me barely able to talk because her mom died from lung cancer…two weeks after her godmother died from the same disease.

This year I found out that a girl I went to school with and sang in the middle school choir with was diagnosed at the age of 22 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I am mesmerized everyday by her strength and beauty.

The time cancer affected me the most was when I was nine. That’s when I learned that my own mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and at the age of 41 she was about to go through something no one should ever have to go through.

I learned through the years that cancer shows no boundaries; it has no pity on the lives it takes, or the ones who are affected by it. Like me, and most the people in this world, we didn’t chose for this to happen to us. But for some reason cancer choose us. As bad as it was I learned something about myself: that I could go through something like that and survive. And there is nothing more powerful than realizing the amount of strength you possess and all that you can gain through hardships.
My life changed that day and 12 years later my life still continues to be affected by my mothers illness. Cancer doesn’t just fade away once it takes the life of someone you love. There are things that trigger my memories good or bad so I ask of you to be never know what someone has gone through.
I may have forgotten my moms voice, and the way she smelled..but I’ll never forget how she ate rice cakes with peanut butter every morning, or the amount of times she sung Baby Bumblebee to me. It’s the little things I hold onto the most. It’s the little things that keep my memories of her together. Not a day goes by where I don’t try to find traces of her in the world around me in hopes of bringing you back.

Senior Spotlight, Georgianna Snell

Phi Sigma Sigma has done more for me than I could put into words. It made me into who I am today. The sorority as a whole is so magical and enlightening. Every woman in our organization brings me strength and light every single day. I was Vice Archon my sophomore year at Iona College and I must say that it is a very overwhelming duty. However, I was honored to have the opportunity because it taught me things about myself I did not know. Vice Archon also gave me the strength and confidence to become the college’s Speech and Hearing Club’s President this past year. I learned so much through my role as Vice Archon and I was lucky enough to be at Iona College to watch two more women take on the role themselves.

I am a senior here at Iona College, so not only does that mean I have to say goodbye to the campus, my friends, and my professors, but my sisterhood. The most beautiful thing about a sisterhood is that we are always connected, no matter the distance or time that may pass. It has been a complete honor and my privilege to be apart of Phi Sigma Sigma, Delta Nu chapter for the past four years. I will be attending New York University for graduate school for Speech and Language Pathology in the fall, so I will not be far. Even though there is a great amount of change in this world and in our futures, we must not fear it. We must embrace the change because it helps us all grow and become even better than before. I have very high hopes that this sorority will live on with the upmost respect at Iona College and that our sisterhood will only grow with beauty and empowerment.

It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you soon.

Once, Always LITP

Georgianna Snell

Senior Spotlight

“Hi girls! My name is Kayla Garofalo and I’m a senior here at Iona. I’m from Berlin, Connecticut and I’m majoring in Marketing. I always knew I wanted to join a sorority and made sure Iona offered Greek Life. I chose Phi Sigma Sigma because I made the most connections with the girls, especially my Big Kelly. From introducing me to wonderful girls or amazing career opportunities, Phi Sig has been one of the best parts of my college experience. GO GREEK!”