Amanda recently joined us at CG as our Communications Coordinator. The Educational Change Internship team — including Jetaly Traverso, Angel Mercado, Amelia Bragg-Phillips, and Joel Tolman — had the opportunity to meet with her and understand her passions for being involved in the community.
I am the Communications Coordinator. I work on the social media posts for Common Ground – and would love to work with students to get their feedback on that. I also work on other communications about projects the development team is working on, such as fundraising events.
What are your previous work experiences? What made CG a good next step for you?
Previously, I was a paraprofessional at an elementary school working with kindergarteners – they were the cutest! That was my first role in Connecticut. Before that, I was in New York City doing education and non-profit work. I worked at a middle school as an After School Program Coordinator in Brooklyn.
I’ve always wanted to work in a high school environment. I also wanted to get more involved in the New Haven community, since this is where I live now, and be around people that relate more to me and my experience. I wanted to be more involved in what was happening in my backyard. I am also big on the environment.
What part of CG made you come here? What motivates you to work here?
There were multiple roles available, when I was job searching, but the communications coordinator role really excited me. A lot of the work that I’ll be doing here is what I do in my own time with other projects I have going on.
The big community aspect of the organization is what drew me here. I like that we not only focus and emphasize being part of the community, but also helping and finding ways to improve it.
What makes you want to work with young people/young adults?
I enjoy learning what young people are interested in, and what motivates and inspires them. I feel like that’s an inspiration to adults, and there’s so much to learn from young people, and I think it’s great to be able to make intergenerational connections. The voices of the youth play a big role in how society operates.
What’s your approach to fundraising and communications?
My approach is to share your personal story, or a story that people can relate to – so that they understand the cause, why you are raising this money, and what that has to do with the individual. That helps people get the vision, so they are with you.
What life experiences made you want to work in development and communication?
You know what’s funny? I used to hate social media. I think learning the positive impact that social media can have – not just on people personally, but on businesses and organizations – helped me change that attitude. Seeing it as a tool in getting visions across, getting the word out, spreading positivity all around. There are a lot of controversial things involved in social media and communications, in general – but I see the positive, the beneficial side of it now. If you have something that you want to do or get done? Share it!
How does your job relate to us as students?
We are raising money, not only for the organization but also for the school, and trying to share students’ stories, it directly relates to all of what students have going on, and what they want to see going on. I want to give students the opportunity to use their voices.
What’s one change you’d like to see at CG, and why?
I’d love to see more after school programs and clubs or know what students are interested in. It looks good after high school when you’re involved. I think it’s important to know what students want to do and bring those out as best as we can.
What do you want students and families to know about you as a person?
I am really big on culture and heritage – learning about other people’s culture, and also sharing my own. If students and families are interested in knowing about Caribbean culture, and being part of it, I am their person. I am here to share, and also to learn.