Capturing The Coveted Cuny Service Corps Crown

Capturing The Coveted Cuny Service Corps Crown

My interview for the position of a Cuny Service Corps leader.

On Friday, April 17, 2015, I had a group interview for the position of becoming a part of the CUNY Service Corps for a period of six months. The interview was held in the Mary Pinkett Lecture Hall, located in the S building, and business attire was required. The CUNY Service Corps is a program that provides college students with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in the essential services, such as health and education in our communities. In return for their effort, students also benefit from the enriching and meaningful services as social skills and leadership skills are developed and students interact with professionals in the workplace environment. Students are given the opportunity to gain the initiative of learning while earning a stipend, and this creates a platform for recognition, advancement, and possible future employment.

I arrived early for the interview, which was scheduled for noon, and I observed that it was well attended. Students pursuing different degrees were all contending for the coveted positions, and only students who displayed leadership qualities would be chosen. One young lady who was successfully chosen last year addressed the audience. She attested to the fact that the program was indeed beneficial and rewarding in terms of achieving practical skills while engaging with fellow workers with a singular desire to be productive, and thereby making an effective contribution to the community.

The interviews began in a timely manner, although a few students showed up late and were sharply reprimanded. A short documentary film was presented in order to familiarize us as to the expectations of the program. We were then asked questions concerning the purpose of the CUNY Corps, which I had anticipated and therefore could answer. We were divided into groups of five and asked several questions from the panel of interviewers with a minute to answer each question. A series of questions were intended to test our public speaking capabilities. We were told to organize a corporation that would address and make recommendations in order to present a solution for a given problem in the community. Each group was given a blueprint of a community with a list of problems and we were expected to develop a strategy to solve the problems by appointing board members to address and resolve the situation. This required exceptional leadership and problem-solving techniques of each student.

In the end, each of the five students in a given group was given a minute to sell ourselves as to why we should be chosen to represent Medgar Evers College as a CUNY Service Corp intern. After our responses, we were advised that we would be notified via email as to whether we were chosen to participate in the program. Overall, the interview afforded me the chance to overcome my fear of public speaking, as well as to increase my confidence and build my self-esteem. I would strongly encourage students to apply for the upcoming 2016-17 recruitment; the application process began on Jan. 15. Additional information is available at the Career Management Service Center located on the third floor of the S building, suite 302.

Cover Image Credit: Cuny Service Corps

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Facing The Giants In Life

"Remember God has already overcame the World"

Through life we face many giants or mountains...some small and others large. Most of the time we think that God should just remove the giants and that should be it...I mean he is the all powerful God who can do anything right? While this is true he also, wants us to climb the mountains and face our giants, because he gives us battles bigger than ourselves to show that all things are possible with him. But God won't leave us to conquer alone but be our strength or you might say our armor throughout the battles.  For example the story of David and Goliath that many of you have heard but probably never had really broken down before. 

(1 Samuel 17:3) This story starts out with a valley between two mountains and the description of Goliath, a destructible, merciful giant. No one in Israel wanted to fight this giant, except one unlikely person David. He was just regular individual who was a slinger, how could he possibly kill this giant? And of course the King said that David was no match to defeat Goliath, and David started to tell about how he kept his father's sheep and how he had to fight off lions and bears, and if God can deliver him from those then he can deliver him from this giant. So the King sent him to fight. David started out in the armor that was chosen for him but decided that he had to be himself to conquer this giant and most of all have faith in God. So he chose 5 smooth stones and a sling, and went over near Goliath. He knew he had to keep his distance, and while Goliath had a sword and shield, David had a sling, rocks and the power of God. The battle didn't last very long, and ended in a victory of David after hitting the giant in the forehead with a stone.

 I love this story because it is such a good example of facing the giants and mountains in life. Yes, they may be larger then you are but you have to keep in mind that your God is bigger. You have to put on God's armor, stand firm, and keep climbing. You have to always be prepared and evaluate your focus and make sure your focused on God by spending time with him in different ways. A quote that I heard while watching a video by Jordan Lee Dooley said "Focus on your giants and you stumble, focus on God and your giants will tumble." And this quote is so perfect because you can't focus on what the enemy is telling you because he will always find ways to say your not strong enough, your not big enough, you are not able, like the King told David (1 Samuel 17:33).  But through the climb and battles always remember God has already overcame the World. 

~Shay 


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I'm Pro-Life, Just Not In The Way You Think

It is another thing entirely to work for the rights of humans after they are born.

This weekend marks the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade that decided that a woman has the right to seek an abortion legally if she wishes to terminate her pregnancy.

Since 1973, this case has stirred up a lot of controversies, with many failed attempts to repeal the initial Supreme Court decision and both sides fighting for modifications to the initial bill, that would make abortion either more or less accessible.

The gravity of this debate has created a deep rift between people who identify as pro-life versus those who consider themselves pro-choice. Each side has vilified the other and there appears to be no hope of finding a common ground.

As someone who grew up in a deeply religious family, surrounded by people who have been deeply involved in the pro-life movement, I was exposed to these ideas from a pretty early age.

I know what it's like to be surrounded by people who wholeheartedly believe that a fetus deserves the human rights afforded to people who are already born.

These are good people.

I've also attended a fairly liberal university in California. I've worked with a poor immigrant community. I've volunteered in a hospital for people who cannot afford health care. I know what it's like to buy a pregnancy test in terror that it may turn up positive. I've seen what it's like to feel like abortion is your only option.

These are good people.

I don't know now where I fall when it comes to this issue. I guess I'd call myself pro-choice solely because I do not feel that I have the authority to tell another woman what decision she should make for herself and her family.

I love babies. I always have and I always will. I'm not a fan of abortion. If I could save every single baby, believe me, I would.

I agree with the end goal of the pro-life movement, but I disagree fundamentally with every way that they go about to achieve that end goal and I do not understand the correlation between people who fight for a child to be born, but will not fight for that child's rights after birth or when they find themselves in their own unwanted pregnancy. I am not pro-abortion, but I am pro-choice.

It is one thing to call yourself pro-life and to spend your Saturday mornings outside of a Planned Parenthood, either praying peacefully or harassing the women that have come to seek health care (hint: most actually aren't there for an abortion).

It is another thing entirely to work for the rights of humans after they are born; to fight to dismantle the social structures that led these women not to want to be pregnant in the first place; to promote a society that sets women and children and families up to succeed.

I know that birth control and comprehensive sex education help lower abortion rates. A movement that wants to prevent abortions but also tries to prevent these resources isn't focusing solely on abortion prevention, they're relying on sexual oppression to achieve their goal. And it's backfiring.

I'm pro-life. Just not in the way you're thinking of.

I'm pro-life for the over 20% of American children that are living in poverty.

I'm pro-life for the black men who are arrested at an extraordinary rate for largely non-violent offenses.

I'm pro-life for the 40,000 veterans that have fought to serve our country and then end up on the streets every night when they get home.

I'm pro-life for the 63,000 children who are sexually abused every year.

I'm pro-life for the men and women who need food stamps to feed their families.

I'm pro-life for the 45,000 people who die and will continue to die every year because they can't afford health coverage.

I'm pro-life for the 1 in 6 women who will be raped in her lifetime.

I'm pro-life for the immigrants in this country, both those who are here legally and those who are not, that are taken advantage of because of their vulnerable position in society.

I’m pro-life for the members of the LGBT+ community that are discriminated against and that commit suicide at alarmingly rates as a result of the harassment they receive.

I'm pro-life for the young women who find themselves pregnant in a situation that they cannot afford, that is dangerous for them or their families, and that would make their lives even more difficult. I stand by them and I advocate for their right to choose, even if that choice is not one that I would make for myself.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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