Community Minded 

The Massry Fellowship allowed Harlan Ginsburg, second from right,  the opportunity to intern this past summer with Special Olympics New York.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 15, 2016) – While Lyndsey Brainerd had a passion to work with a refugee resettlement organization, she was concerned about the financial strain working at an unpaid internship all summer would create for her the next semester.

Thanks to the Massry Fellowship, that stress was relieved.

Brainerd, a globalization studies major from Cambridge, N.Y., used the fellowship last summer to work as a housing coordinator intern at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in the Albany field office.

“I am so grateful to have had such a personally fulfilling experience, while also performing such an important role in the refugee resettlement process. It has been a distinct pleasure helping the committee achieve its ongoing mission to provide essential services to refugees who are seeking to build a new life here in Albany, New York,” Brainerd said.

Brainerd, who plans to graduate in December 2017, is one of four students who received Massry Community Fellowships last summer. The other three fellows are Harlan Ginsburg, Anwar Cannon and Shannon Gilliams.

The program is among the initiatives funded through the Massry family’s $5.25 million gift to support the School of Business and key University-wide initiatives. Through the program, students arrange their own internships and apply for the fellowship, which pays a generous award at the conclusion of the summer.

Ginsburg is a junior business administration major.

“Thanks to this incredibly generous fellowship, my internship with the Special Olympics really helped pay for school. It is a true blessing,” Ginsburg said. “I have to say, it was the most rewarding feeling to know that my work allowed athletes with special needs in the Capital Region to participate in sports.”

The fellowship has helped Ginsburg on his career track.

“I aspire to work in marketing for a sports organization, so working this summer with Special Olympics New York was perfect,” he said. “I was able to assist in marketing for a world renowned sports-centric organization. It was just the type of experience I needed.”

Anwar Cannon of Staten Island, N.Y., used the fellowship to intern for non-profit Margination, Inc. in Troy, which helps people living in a poor area of Troy to create worker-owned businesses, meaning those working within the business are the owners. A bookkeeping and accounting intern, he also helped with other projects, such as writing business plans.

“That internship opened my eyes and made me realize that I would rather study finance and entrepreneurship than accounting,” Cannon said. “As an aspiring entrepreneur, my long-term goals are to become a financial advisor and be able to turn that into a business one day, in the same way Margination helps people create worker-owned businesses.”

“Awards like these motivate me to strive for greatness and keep serving the community,” said Cannon, a junior business administration major who was raised by his grandparents in Senegal, West Africa.

Shannon Gilliams of Nanuet, N.Y., worked in an events planning internship at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society office in Albany.

“I am now one step closer to being able to open my own event planning business,” she said. Gilliams is a finance and management major who is planning to graduate in December.

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