"I will always be grateful for the work that I have completed in this class, as it has taught me lifelong lessons and made me a better person all around. There are some things that you simply cannot learn from a textbook or a lecture. Lessons of philanthropy and civic engagement, at least for me personally, are best learned by actually engaging yourself in the issues of a community. If you are able to immerse yourself in the problems of a community, you will more likely than not have the passion to immerse yourself in the solutions to these problems."
"When we hear about philanthropy, it is always tied to Bill Gates and other rich celebrities and business people. Because of this class, I have proven to myself that philanthropy is something that can be done by just ordinary people. Even though our grant-making was funded by the large, national Learning by Giving Foundation and the local Cortland Community Foundation, the people actually doing the hard work are ordinary. This makes me want to empower people politically so they know that they have the power to change things. Many people feel hopeless and insignificant, but this is not true. While a single person may not be able to save the whole world, if you can do good in your community and give your best effort then you should be proud of that. "
"Taking this course has definitely assisted and helped me gain more knowledge relevant to my future career goals. … After thinking about the Bridges for Kids program, I started thinking about what it means to have a role model and to see yourself in other successful people. I began to specifically ask other women how they felt growing up. I asked them who their role models were and if they looked up to any specific celebrities. After these conversations, I noticed a trend. Most of the women of color that I spoke to said that their only role models were family members. So, many women grew up not feeling represented when they saw successful career women and celebrities. Many described growing up and not seeing women of color in leadership positions and did not hear the stories of those who did exist. With the encouragement of many of the women I spoke to, including three of our class members, I am starting a project to combat this. I will be starting a blogsite that will provide readers with pieces of work and stories that represent real world experiences from women of color. It will serve as an outlet for underrepresented women to express how they have been impacted by politics, gender roles, violence, immigration and much more. I will be integrating the stories of others along with my own development and journey towards self-love. A story, video, piece of artwork or poetry will be shared weekly. This is not to showcase famous individuals, but rather the everyday, hardworking and inspiring women of color that we encounter regularly, yet often go unrecognized. Readers are encouraged to share these stories with others. If it weren’t for this course, I would not have realized that it was possible for me to do this. This course has definitely stimulated conversations outside of the classroom, and I am so grateful for it. …
The most important thing I am taking away from this class is confidence in myself. … I never thought I would pursue a career in the non-profit sector. I always thought I would do work in non-profits, advocacy and community organizing, but on my free time as a hobby. I enjoy it immensely and always have; however, I did not think about it as a full-time job. … This class has made me feel more prepared and confident that I can make working in the non-profit sector my career. Through taking this course, I have a better understanding of the different structures that nonprofits can have, and I have realized just how many different things I could end up doing. Sure, it is not a clear cut path, but I have confidence in myself and the skills I have acquired to feel that I will be OK. I am more excited that I will make my hobby into a full-time career and this class has helped prepare me for that.