Diversity, tolerance, and inclusion are cornerstones of social justice and civic engagement. In her first semester at Farmingdale State College (FSC), Hannah's commitment to facilitating meaningful dialogue amongst students of diverse backgrounds became immediately clear when she created the Love Over Hate (LOH) student group. Seeking to motivate students by fostering a positive and constructive safe space, she held meetings for students to voice their concerns and develop a plan for positive action. Hannah collaborated with FSC faculty and arranged for FSC, neighboring SUNY schools, and other community organizations to attend the Women's March in Washington, DC. LOH is greatly enhancing the culture of inclusivity on campus and Hannah's nomination as a Newman Fellow is sure to provide this dynamic young leader with the positive reinforcement she needs to continue shaping Farmingdale students into positive global citizens. Hannah is bringing issues facing underrepresented and marginalized students to the forefront of the FSC community and providing a space for students' voices to be heard. She embodies the "relentless optimism," that Frank Newman advocated for and that guides Farmingdale's direction into the future.
Helping, fighting and advocating for others has always felt like second nature to me. My earliest memories of this include serving my community with the Girl Scouts, volunteering at local churches hosting food drives and fundraising for numerous Junior Diabetes Research Foundation walks. These experiences showed me that getting people engaged in their communities not only empowers them to grow into leaders locally, but also makes me a more caring and knowledgeable advocate. I entered my freshman year of college with this in mind, determined to give back that same amount of love I had received over the years and spread as much of it as possible. This was why I founded the student group Love Over Hate. Being the president of a politically active club on campus that supports amity, positive activism, social justice and awareness raising has opened my eyes to the diverse hardships students confront. It is important to provide an unbiased, open forum for discussion that inspires members to engage civically and affect meaningful, lasting social change. During and after my Newman Fellowship, I hope to instill the same commitment to public service in others that has become such an important part of my own development.