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2013 Fellows

Kathleen Huffman

“The interaction with other fellows is one of the biggest benefits of this program. It was valuable to have them with me to explore Buffalo and learn what their placement is doing. I think it was also beneficial to get to know other students with similar goals who are studying what I am studying and learn from their knowledge of ILR.”

Photo: Kathleen Huffman
Kathleen Huffman

Zachary Benfanti

“The High Road Fellowship is, in every sense of the description, a ‘service learning and action research fellowship.’ By being a truly living laboratory where students can leverage their skills and prior experiences in a constructively defined atmosphere and timetable, change is undoubtedly due to spring.”

Photo: Zach Benfanti
Zachary Benfanti

Jacob Barnes

“Both my involvement with PPG and Open Buffalo have helped me to better understand policy development and citizen engagement. My work this summer has given me a deep understanding of the inner-workings of nonprofits and their role in both the community and local politics.”

Photo: Jacob Barnes
Jacob Barnes

Daniel Powers

“My experience exceeded expectations. The internship provided me with more autonomy in my work and more interesting work than I expected. The social element of the program was fantastic. I hope that my research and meeting contributions are helpful to the community and nonprofit organizations that are trying to make changes around the subjects I researched.”

Photo: Daniel Powers
Daniel Powers

Courtney Sokol

“This affected the way I saw nonprofits as a partnership and a community. Many organizations worked together, which fostered work and social relationships. I really appreciated that aspect. I felt as if I was able to see the direct impact by my organization throughout the greater Buffalo area.” 

Photo: Courtney Sokol
Courtney Sokol

Frederick Turner

“Belmont was dealing directly with the across the board cuts from the sequester as well. It was the first time in my life I saw direct impacts of public policy on the lives of everyday people. I loved my project. I talked directly with residents of Buffalo and they often talked to me about more than just my survey. I learned a lot too. And at the end I got to feel like I was truly helping Buffalo become a better place.” 

Photo: Frederick Turner
Frederick Turner

Luise Yang

“I think this fellowship did an excellent job of showing me the positive and negative aspects of working with a nonprofit. I am definitely interested in the social justice aspect of the experience and I wish to pursue it further in my academic studies in graduate school and in my career as well.”

Photo: Luise Yang
Luise Yang

Renee Wall

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Everywoman Opportunity Center. My favorite part was teaching the small business workshops because I got to draw from what I’ve learned in ILR classes. I was able to see my work have direct impact when I heard that some of the women that I helped to create resumes were able to get jobs because of our work at the Everywoman Opportunity Center.”

Renee Wall

Manuela Monjimbo

“My goal for the summer was to do something that would be very beneficial to the Institute and the clients especially. With the resource library, it will be easy for the employment specialists and case managers at the Institute to make referrals based on the requirements of each vocational/educational program. I really enjoyed the opportunity to visit the Department of Labor and meet with the employment specialist there to get her insight on the vocational opportunities available to refugees and immigrants.” 

Photo: Manuela Monjimbo
Manuela Monjimbo

Alexis Leonard

“My placement focuses on increasing the transparency and public participation of economic development. In this organization, I don’t feel like the stereotypical intern whose only job is to get coffee and make copies; I actually feel like I’m helping to make a difference.” 

Photo: Alexis Leonard
Alexis Leonard

Jacob Reichert

“As someone with a background working with for-profit companies, I gained a great deal of knowledge about how community-based organizations function. I assumed that merely dropping the “nonprofit” title would automatically lead to public and peer support and this was simply not the case. However, developing strong personal connections with other organizations and the people that run them, as my supervisor has done, makes the process much easier, and more fun!” 

Photo: Jacob Reichert
Jacob Reichert

Armin Behroozi

“I loved every part of the summer. I loved the Fridays we had where we toured different places in Buffalo, I loved the downtime with peers at the dorms, and I loved my coworkers and what I was doing.” 

Photo: Armin Behroozi
Armin Behroozi

William Larkin

“When I graduated high school and left for college I planned on never moving back. I thought that Buffalo could never become the city it once was. But after being exposed to the tremendous effort made by nonprofit groups and the noticeable progress they have made, I see great potential for Buffalo the following decades and now I can see myself moving back.”

Photo: William Larkin
William Larkin

Di Wu

“This is a great program. I feel like I learned so much about nonprofits, the economy, and Buffalo. I wish every city had a similar program. People always complain about how no one is engaged with politics, and I feel like programs like the High Road Fellowship would do so much to boost civic engagement by exposing citizens to the problems of their city, along with potential solutions.”

Photo: Di Wu
Di Wu

Kevin Mollica

“Researching historical issues of business and labor in Buffalo and the results of progressive prerogatives at both local and national levels helped me better understand how economies and issues of public policy function in large cities. This experience was especially useful in framing how we perceive these issues present-day with the natural progression of these same issues throughout the city’s history – allowing me to grasp not only the modern economic and political condition of Buffalo, but how it arrived to that position.”

Photo: Kevin Mollica
Kevin Mollica

Christopher McGinn

“I have thought more critically than ever about the labor movement, income inequality, and the oppression of the working class. I felt very immersed in the nonprofit community in Buffalo. It is very clear that these organizations are very collaborative, and it was a wonderful experience to interact with so many wonderful people who are so genuinely committed to good causes. Overall, I feel like I have further adopted the mentality of an activist and that will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

Photo: Christopher McGinn
Christopher McGinn

Justine Brennan

“The High Road program is an excellent program for those interested in service learning, civic engagement or social justice. The program met my expectations in providing us valuable experiences where we could explore these areas of study and interact with others currently working in these fields. My favorite experience of the summer was being able to hear about all of the amazing things that other fellows where working on throughout the week and seeing the difference our program was making in Buffalo.”

Photo: Justine Brennan
Justine Brennan

Rebeka Tannenbaum

“Working at MAP provided me with a greater understanding of the economy and civic participation. At MAP, I watched “The Story of Stuff” and learned a lot about food systems and how a nonprofit interacts with the city and its economy. Some youth at MAP are involved in a youth food council, where they work firsthand on policy. This has really shown me that civic participation is possible and can in fact make a difference.”

Rebeka Tannenbaum
Rebeka Tannenbaum

Gabrielle Hickmon

“The best part of the program was going through this experience as a group. Observing and learning from the other Fellows was very valuable to me. I did not know any of the Fellows before starting the program, and I know feel that I have 19 new friends in ILR.” 

Photo: Gabrielle Hickmon
Gabrielle Hickmon