Happy Employee Appreciation Day! At TSF, a nonprofit, we’re lucky to have many wonderful student employees that help us positively impact the TS community daily.
TSF Student Employee Stories
Ameka Yawson has been working at the Turner Syndrome Foundation for about three weeks now. Born in Liberia, Ameka moved to America with her family in 2004. She is the youngest of seven children, and she’s a first-generation student! Currently, she is a junior majoring in Sociology. She is the Program Assistant for The Turner Syndrome Foundation. When asked why she decided to work with the Turner Syndrome Foundation, she responded with, “I decided to work with TSF because I was trying to explore a job opportunity that combines two passions of mine, both medicine and sociology. This job was the perfect fit.
“I get to be part of a team that is seeking answers for a medical condition which is just awesome.” Ameka really enjoys the skills she gains while working for the Foundation, such as utilizing Excel, because she knows she’ll use this while in the workforce. Ameka has also learned how nonprofit organizations work and how everyone’s position is significant. “Even though I’m just the program assistant, my role is important. I input and organize data that is being used to better the organization.”
Kierstyn Holly has worked at TSF a little over a year now. Her current position is the Communications Coordinator. She is a Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations and Journalism. With the role of Communications Coordinator, she wants to “encourage and support those with TS and help those who must have a better understanding. Every individual deserves to have their voice be heard. My role at the Foundation is to advocate for this cause and let the stories of those living with TS be known.”
Her role also reflects why she decided to work at TSF, because she knew it would give her experience in the Public Relations field while also being able to learn and raise awareness for a condition that she was unaware about. What she’s really enjoyed about her experience is seeing the impact TSF has on people in the Turner Syndrome community. “Seeing that lives are being changed for the better because of the work being done at TSF has shown so much hope for those being affected by Turner Syndrome.” Watching the TSF community come together and share their stories to help others has inspired her. She has also met some amazing people while interning at TSF.
Elizabeth Rivera is a junior Sociology and Anthropology student at Stockton University. For 8 months, she researched, wrote, and edited articles that resonated with TSF’s community and the general public. However, over the past two months, she transitioned to the position of Blog Content Coordinator. With this position, she says that now, “she helps others do the same.” She does this by planning and researching articles that best fit TSF’s mission as well as the TS community’s needs. Moreover, she also does this by collaborating with TSF’s Communications team to help write, review, and publish these articles.
When asked why she chose with TSF, she noted, “I have a strong passion for positively impacting others, and understanding other people’s perspectives. Additionally, I wanted to learn more about TS as well as apply my anthropological knowledge to a nonprofit organization. I have gotten that and more!” She also stated that she loves aiding the TS community with overcoming their challenges and understanding their diverse experiences. Additionally, she is extremely grateful for having the opportunity to inspire people in and outside of the TS community to advocate for TS research, awareness, and legal protections with her work. Furthermore, since she has started working at TSF, she also said that she has enjoyed gaining many skills such as social media marketing, blog writing, researching, and editing, SEO, interview skills, working as well as collaborating in a professional setting, and more.
Annabella Marte has worked at TSF for about four months. She is a Business Administration major with a concentration in International Business at Monmouth. Her position at the organization is Community Outreach and she hopes to continue to advocate for those affected by Turner Syndrome and to build and maintain community support. When asked why she decided to work with TSF, she responded, “I did because of my mom and her background working with non-profit organizations. For years, my family and I have been heavily involved with organizations like the Domestic Violence Awareness Coalition in New Brunswick, central New Jersey Health consortium, and the Visiting Nurse Association. My mom has always had a passion for helping those in need and taking action for women’s rights and accessible health care to lower income families. I’ve always wanted to develop experience with a nonprofit as well to gain insight and help those in need, so I researched TSF and felt encouraged to work with them.”
What she’s enjoyed most about this experience is the emphasis on community outreach and the development of a community for those affected by Turner Syndrome. “As the community outreach coordinator, I often stay connected with those involved with the Foundation and find that because of us those with Turner Syndrome feel heard and comforted knowing that there’s people behind them supporting them.” Working at TSF, she has learned how to form connections with others and adapt to the various modes of communication.
Rowan Elrais is a junior at Monmouth University, and she is in the 5-year program for Special Education. Her goal for the organization is to increase awareness of this Foundation and to assist in building a stronger community. Her position is Education Initiatives. She shared, “As an educator with a concentration in special education, I have tried to find more experiences related to my major. I have worked with so many different people with so many different disabilities, but I have never heard of or worked with anybody with Turner Syndrome before. This felt like an amazing opportunity to broaden my scope on the disability spectrum. “I want to become a useful resource to all those in need and an advocate for them as well.”
Rowan hopes her skill set will become a reliable resource for the Foundation. She’s looking forward to her new position and spreading more awareness of Turner Syndrome. Rowan has also been doing some research on Turner Syndrome. “I recently watched the webinar about what is cognitive impact of Turner Syndrome, and I was able to research some of the activities that individuals can do to train their cognitive abilities. It was interesting to see how even the slightest change in a person’s routine or by playing a game can strengthen one’s cognitive ability.”
Last but certainly not least we have Kayla, the Press Coordinator at the Turner Syndrome Foundation. She is a junior at Monmouth, and a Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science. She says, “I hope to make a difference at TSF because I empathize a lot with those who have TS because I also suffer from epilepsy, another a medical condition with no cure.” Since my diagnosis, the one thing I’ve done for myself and other people out there with epilepsy was advocate. Advocacy is the best way to bring light on a situation and inform people. With her role, “I’ll advocate for the TS community, educating the public on this condition and the roles they can also take to help.”
“I decided to work at TSF because I wanted to gain experience working with a nonprofit, and it was a great opportunity. I’ve never worked at a nonprofit before, so I was genuinely curious about how working there would be. One thing I’ve enjoyed about my experience at TSF is the environment. It’s clear the Turner Syndrome Foundation is a very supportive community. The people at TSF are here to uplift each other and aid each other. That is the type of community I would love to work in. I’ve gained a lot from this experience, but I’ve mostly gained time management, responsibility, and using one’s voice to advocate for a cause.” Kayla also says, “With my job, I am raising awareness for TS and the organization created to support it. I have a voice that I can use to inform other people and have them get involved. Knowing that I can contribute to this cause warms my heart and makes me realize the power of advocacy and education.”
These students are a wonderful addition to TSF. They are all very enthusiastic about using their roles to create change and spread awareness of Turner Syndrome. Kayla shared, “TSF has provided us with a wonderful opportunity. We are all proud to not only represent TSF but Monmouth University as well.”
Written by Kayla Kennedy, TSF Press Coordinator.