Tuesday, February 24, 2015

TONIGHT - Gap Years, Serving Others and Finding Work that Matters - Panelist Bios

Mike Kelly, City Year Alumnus, Current Medical Student
Currently a first year medical student at the University of Rochester, Mike graduated from Colgate University in 2012 with a degree in biochemistry, and then spent two years with City Year Boston before beginning medical school last fall. In college, he developed an interest in social justice and community advocacy, and so decided to give a year of service with Americorps between college and medical school. He knew that he wanted to explore the status of educational inequality in our country, and chose City Year because the program allowed him the opportunity to work directly with students and schools as an additional resource, without the full responsibility of being the primary teacher in the classroom. By pushing him to better understand the students and to create action plans to support them, working with the teachers, parents and the students themselves, City Year taught him what it means to serve in a community, alongside that community. He ended up staying on for two years at City Year, as a corps member, team leader, and program manager, because his diverse team was able to collaborate and make a difference in the lives of others. He know that his time at City Year changed his definition of what it means to work for social change in a team-based, community-focused way. It has shaped the way he plans to practice medicine in the future. 
Dove Russo, Peace Corps
Dove Russo is a Peace Corps recruiter for the Western NY region. She served as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Cape Verde working in women and girls development from ’08 – ’10. She also served with AmeriCorps VISTA in Rochester in 2007 and AmeriCorps ABLE in Buffalo in 2011. Originally from Geneva, NY, Dove graduated with a degree in Women’s Studies from SUNY at Buffalo and is currently completing her Masters of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management.

Lauren Sava, Rochester Youth Year Fellowship (Americorps)
Lauren is currently a Rochester Youth Year fellow through AmeriCorps VISTA, a national program focused on relieving poverty through community empowerment and capacity building. Lauren is currently serving at Refugees Helping Refugees in order to develop their current refugee youth summer program, as well as create a new Somali after-school program for 6th-8th graders. She graduated from the University of Rochester in 2014 with a degree in Health, Behavior, and Society and will be attending a Master of Public Health program after her year of service. 

Rishi Sharma, Teach for America
Rishi Sharma is a Campus Campaign Coordinator for Teach for America. He is responsible for seeking qualified candidates at UR for membership into TFA's 2015 Corps. Rishi is a senior studying Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. He was formerly part of the 5 year Masters of Ed program through the Warner School. While at UR, Rishi sought multiple leadership opportunities through student government, as an RA and through a startup business. He has also tutored  inner city Rochester students voluntarily with Sigma Phi Epsilon. Rishi plans on working in the education technology industry and apply into the TFA corps in the future. 

Rachael Tachco, Rochester AmeriCorps
Rachael Tachco is the Program Director of Rochester AmeriCorps in Rochester, NY. As a proud AmeriCorps alumna, she brings a member perspective and professional experience to the program. Holding a Master’s in Public Administration, she has a total of eight years of AmeriCorps experience and both direct service and administrative experience in youth-serving organizations. Her primary responsibilities include program development and implementation, fiscal management, program reporting and evaluation, public relations, and the selection, training, and monitoring of host sites and projects.

During her professional time away from AmeriCorps programming, she worked for the Center for Youth Services working directly with at-risk youth and later developed, secured and managed a Department of Labor grant for youth employment programs.

Attend to hear the stories of our panelists, including why they made the decision to join their organization, tips for becoming a strong candidate, getting through the application process, and stories from their lives "in the trenches." EVERY YEAR UR graduates join all of these programs, many times in large numbers. OPEN TO ALL CLASS YEARS, and anyone interested in spending a gap year or starting a career serving others.

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