Isabella Cardona, who graduated magna cum laude from the Macaulay Honors College at the College of Staten Island (CSI) with a BA in Political Science and International Studies, along with a minor in French, has been accepted to Public Allies. Public Allies is an AmeriCorps program, where she will work with We Are New York, a project formed as a joint endeavor by The City University of New York and the Mayor’s Office to facilitate English-language conversation groups for immigrants living in New York City. Her appointment began on September 1 and runs through June 29, 2012.
We Are New York helps the immigrant community in two ways: by providing platforms (situated in local communities) in which immigrants can practice their English and by enabling immigrants to learn more about important New York City services.
Commenting on how she feels about this honor, Cardona said, “It has always been and will always be very important for me to maintain high levels of civic engagement. It is a true honor to be able to provide meaningful service to my country—the one that has given my family and me a tremendous amount of opportunity. I know that being part of AmeriCorps will strengthen my leadership skills, enable me to further develop my core values, deepen my love for civic participation, and will undoubtedly inspire much personal and professional growth.
“As graduation approached,” she adds, “I faced the unnerving question of what to do after receiving my hard-earned degrees. I was not sure what specific direction to go in, but I did know that I needed some time to reflect on what my next step(s) should be. Public Allies is a perfect fit for me because the program allows me to do the aforementioned while working altruistically in my community. It also enables my natural intellectual curiosity to continually be fueled with the weekly skill training, community building, and leadership development seminars it provides. Furthermore, upon completion of the program, I will receive a $5,500 education award. It almost seems too good to be true!”
Upon graduating, Cardona received both the International Studies Award and the CSI Alumni Association Outstanding Student Leadership Award. During her tenure at CSI, she also served on the organizing committee of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars, as a New Student Orientation Leader, a SEEK Mentor, a CSI Ambassador, and a student volunteer for the CSI Alumni Association.
In addition, Cardona has completed internships with the U.S. Department of State and World of Children—a humanitarian organization dedicated to supporting child advocates, and TheBigWord—a leading global translating and interpreting agency. She has also studied abroad in Paris, France and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, and she accompanied President Morales and several other CSI students to a breakfast meeting with Mayor Bloomberg in the spring of 2009. She is also fluent in Spanish.
As for her future plans, Cardona is in the process of applying for a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in Argentina next year.