Name: Eric Horvath Position: President Hometown: Sayville, New York SU College: Maxwell (MPA) My perspective on volunteering has evolved a lot over the last several years. It started on a service project to El Salvador, when I was an eager (though naïve) volunteer who thought he was going to rescue the world in two weeks. El Salvador propelled me to the farms of Lithuania, alternative schools for North Koreans, into the lives of adoptees, and now, the northside of Syracuse. Over the years, and across my travels, I have failed to rescue the world. Instead, with its poverty, inequality, lack of opportunity, beauty and charisma, the world and its people continue to rescue me from a life of insulation and ingratitude. I volunteer with SUPRA because I believe there should be a paradigm shift, where success, happiness, and fulfilment in life are not determined by circumstances out of one’s control (e.g. birth, conflict) and everyone is striving for a more equitable world. Where volunteering is not lauded, not praised, but second-nature. I am grateful to SUPRA’s volunteers (with special acknowledgment to those on this page below me), students, and supporters for giving me what I set out to give the El Salvadoran people: everything. Name: Patrick Blood Position: Vice President Hometown: Valdez, Alaska SU College: Law Growing up in rural Alaska, my exposure to different cultures was limited to say the least. I served in Iraq before law school and spent my 2L summer teaching English and working part-time at a small law firm in China. These experiences left me with an indelible passion to make the world over. Serving as SUPRA’s Vice President, engaging closely with the refugee resettlement community, has been the most rewarding part of my law school experience. I never imagined being introduced to such a diverse and truly exceptional neighborhood. Coupled with working pro bono immigration cases during my free time, SUPRA has revitalized my desire to practice refugee law. Name: Gabriela Girona Position: Development Coordinator Hometown: Utica, New York SU College: Law I am a second year law student at Syracuse University College of Law. Originally from Utica, NY, I spent several years in Northern California attending college. I also spent a year in Granada, Spain, studying Spanish Language and Culture. Upon returning to the area, I began working with refugees in 2011 as the volunteer coordinator for the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees' Unspoken Art & Film festival. I continued to work with refugees during my first year in law school when I joined SUPRA as a volunteer teacher. After graduation, I hope to work in Central New York and continue to work with the refugee populations in the region. Name: Xander Gamble Position: Treasurer Hometown: Austin, Texas SU College: Newhouse (TRF) I volunteer with SUPRA because I have traveled and lived all over the world. I have seen people in need from Greece to Afghanistan, to California to Washington, D.C., and everything in between. I also know the limitations that not knowing the language brings to basic human needs. If I can help even one person overcome a barrier to self-sufficiency, I feel great joy. "And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me..., how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!" (D&C 18:16) Name: Brittany Renner Position: Secretary Hometown: Rochester, New York SU College: Maxwell (MAIR) My passion for international humanitarian assistance and development in Africa has led me to pursue my Masters degree at the Maxwell School. Volunteering abroad in Tanzania and my passion for helping youth in developing countries and creating advocacy is what pushed me to become a part of the SUPRA team and it couldn't be more rewarding. Volunteering with SUPRA has allowed me to become more connected with the everyday lives and challenges of the individuals and communities that I care so much about. Name: Emma Ertinger Position: Monday Teacher Coordinator Hometown: Liverpool, New York SU College: Maxwell (MPA) For me, SUPRA has been a great opportunity to reconnect with the Upstate New York refugee community. I grew up in a congregation that sponsored two Bosnian refugee families, and as an undergrad, I interned with the Planning Bureau for the City of Rochester on a series of refugee resettlement initiatives. By assisting with English and Citizenship classes at the North Side Learning Center, SUPRA volunteers add value to the classroom environment. But just as importantly, refugee communities are a lifeline for post-industrial Frost Belt cities like Syracuse - they bring new businesses, revitalize neighborhoods, and help to reverse economic downturn. I'm so thankful that SUPRA gives us a unique opportunity to engage our city and our community. Name: Chris Church Position: Wednesday Teacher Coordinator Hometown: Penacook, New Hampshire SU College: Newhouse (TRF) I am a Military Motion Media student at Newhouse and have served in the U.S. Navy for 6 years. Every duty station I have been at, I have tried to emphasize community service for myself and the sailors I lead. While serving overseas, I had the opportunity to work with local nationals and help the homeless community in Seoul, South Korea. This opportunity gave me a new perspective on what it was like working with a group of people who really need help, but also about how challenging it can be to be in an environment where most people don’t speak the same language as myself. Because of that experience, and for the opportunity to give back to this community, I decided volunteering with SUPRA would be the best way to do it. I have never taught English before, but love helping and teaching others learn something new. This is a chance to not only do that, but to help those who need to learn English so they can survive and hopefully flourish in the United States. So far, it has been an incredible experience that I have thoroughly enjoyed. The students are driven, they are passionate, and they are truly excited to learn. There is no better feeling than seeing someone begin to understand something that can help them in so many ways. I cannot think of a better way to give back. Name: Daniel Haverty Position: Friday Teacher Coordinator Hometown: San Mateo, California SU College: Law I am a third-year law student at Syracuse University College of Law and intend to return home to California to take the BAR and potentially practice Immigration Law. My extensive foreign travel and exposure to humanitarian issues across the globe has inspired me to work with SUPRA. Specifically, in my studies of International Criminal Law, I developed a passion for not only helping those currently engaged in conflict, but those displaced by conflict. Furthermore, my passion for assisting refugees springs from experience interning for a non-profit legal organization who had refugee clients. In my time volunteering for SUPRA I have developed personal connections to many of our students and volunteers. Working with the students has solidified my desire to work for immigrant communities in the future. The process of teaching English itself has helped me with my interpersonal skills as well. Lastly, being surrounded by phenomenal graduate student volunteers, from all walks of life, has further inspired me each and every week.