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This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
This two-year-old fellowship program honors retired Adamian Professor of Law Gerald R. Ferrera MST ’84, a longtime advocate for careers dedicated to improving society. Students receive a stipend for summer internships at nonprofit organizations, government agencies and NGOs in the United States and abroad.
Meet the interns for summer 2014.
ALISON ABRAMS ’16
ORGANIZATION Moving Ahead Program (MAP) at St. Francis House, Boston: A 14-week job- and life-skills training program for those who have experienced homelessness, addiction, mental illness and similar challenges.
CHALLENGE Analyze data to help enhance the program and build student diversity. Work with students on career preparation.
APPROACH Conducted entry interviews and used statistical testing to formulate program improvements. Assisted students with résumés, cover letters and interview skills to re-enter the work force.
RESULTS Presented findings to St. Francis House management and staff. Proposal from data analysis on diversification was adopted. Supported students to build confidence and acquire jobs.
TAKEAWAY “It was difficult to watch students reveal their hardships, but rewarding to see how patience and a helping hand could really change someone’s life. My passion for helping those in need reached a new level. I know I want to incorporate service into my life and future career.”
JULIA PARADIS ’16
ORGANIZATION Global Smile Foundation (GSF): A medical mission group that performs pro-bono cleft lip and palate surgeries for patients in South America, North Africa and the Middle East.
CHALLENGE Increase awareness, organization and funding. Assistwith logistics such as trip planning and packing.
APPROACH Used Facebook posting, sharing and tagging functions. Created a mission checklist to improve organization and track tasks; wrote grant letters to potential donors and explored crowdfunding as a giving option.
RESULTS Online presence of GSF increased dramatically. Facebook views nearly tripled in one week, with some posts garnering up to 2,500 views. Grant letters helped create a positive first impression with prospective donors. Mission checklist was adopted.
TAKEAWAY “On challenging days, I thought about the advice of Dr. Usama Hamdan, GSF’s founder, to ‘remember the people we are helping, and then all of this becomes worthwhile.’ This passion and sense of purpose — for a cause, a mission and the people involved — will always be a necessity for me.”
Alison Davis-Blake, the former business school dean at the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota, was inaugurated as the eighth president of Bentley University in a ceremony attended by students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the extended Bentley community.