NOLA, 2012

Students visiting with 3 Christian Brothers

Zambia, 2012

Rob Droel '12 with the Christian Brothers

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Go New Ro 2014: Meet the Leaders!

Name: Caroline Farella '17

Birthday: October 12th

Campus Involvement: 
Go New Ro student leader, Edmund Rice Society (Community Service Chair), Speech & Hearing Club, Iona in Mission (Philadelphia), Residence Hall Association, the Emerging Leaders Program, and Mission & Ministry's service projects.

Hobbies: Singing, traveling and serving others

Why did you participate in Go New Ro?
I wanted to immerse myself and become involved in the community in which Iona College is located. 

Favorite Thing About Iona? 
My favorite thing about Iona is the types of students it attracts and the understanding and caring faculty.

Favorite Iona Tradition? My favorite Iona tradition is the school's commitment to service.

Favorite Thing To Do in New Rochelle? My favorite thing to do in New Rochelle is to eat out at all the different dining options on North Ave with my friends. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Go New Ro 2014: Meet the Leaders!

Name: Corrine Valenti '16

Birthday: March 26th

Campus Involvement:
Go New Ro student leader, Student Campus Minister, Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, Tara Knights Society, Edmund Rice Society, Mission & Ministry Choir, and the Speech & Hearing Club

Hobbies: Going to the beach, singing in the shower, and country music.

Why did you participate in Go New Ro? 
I wanted to learn more about the Iona and New Rochelle communities that I would be living in the next four years.

Favorite thing about Iona? The service opportunities both locally and internationally.

Favorite Iona Tradition? Coffee House each semester, run by the Office of Mission and Ministry

Favorite thing to do in New Rochelle? Glen Island trips!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Iona in Mission

The mission trip to Zambia was without a doubt the best two weeks of my life! This trip has enabled me to think differently and ask questions by seeing the world through a different set of lenses. It was inspiring to learn more about the Christian Brothers and their commitment to serving the poor. - Kyle

Monday, July 1, 2013

Go New Ro 2013: Final Day!

Although we were tired from yesterday's service sites and many activities, we all came energized for our final day.

After meeting with some Iona administrators during breakfast, the whole "Go New Ro crew" headed up to St. Joseph's Care Facility to meet with many of the retired Christian Brothers for the Go New Ro Project Bro. The students were all inspired by the gracious welcome we received from the Brothers but also their insights and wisdom from many years of service. Hopefully these Go New Ro'ers will join the ranks of the many Iona students who visit St. Joseph's with Mission & Ministry's Project Bro during the year.

We transitioned from engaging in service to discussing servant leadership with President Nyre, Iona College's  Eighth President, in the Charter Room. It was an amazing experience, and privilege, for these incoming freshmen to meet with President Nyre and learn more about his own servant leadership style and how service is at the heart of Iona's mission and character.

                                       Go New Ro'ers with Dr. Nyre in the Charter Room

The Go New Ro experience is not complete without the final lunch at Posto 22 in downtown New Rochelle.  Each of the four Iona in Mission: Go New Ro programs have supported this local business, which also owns the Avenue Deli and Gemelli's, to be good neighbors but also show the Go New Ro'ers the importance of local the great food doesn't make the decision difficult!

From Posto 22 we then moved to the New Rochelle City Hall to meet with Councilman Jared Rice. We discussed the various development projects in the City of New Rochelle, the relationship between Iona students and our local neighbors, civic engagement, and how to get involved in New Rochelle as students. Councilman Rice generously took time out of his busy schedule to meet with our Go New Ro group and our gratitude cannot be expressed enough.

                                  Go New Ro'ers with Councilman Jared Rice at City Hall

To conclude Go New Ro 2013 we gathered in the Blessed Edmund Rice Chapel for the "Ignite our Spirit" Mass with Fr. Frank Dixon celebrating and Jeanne McDermott leading the make-shift choir. Although the air conditioning was not working (FYI it was not cold outside either) it was a great way to give thanks for the various experiences serving, learning to lead, and building community that comprised the 2013 Iona in Mission: Go New Ro experience.

I can't wait to see these nineteen amazingly gifted young adults take the Iona community by storm this fall as they bring their desire to serve and lead. They impressed all of us and truly walk in the footsteps of Bl. Edmund Rice.  Certa Bonum Certamen: Fight the Good Fight!

Go New Ro 2013: Second Day

On Thursday the "Go New Ro Crew" continued their journey of leadership and service!

Both groups were treated to a tour of New Rochelle, visiting jewels of the community Like Glen Island and the Library Green.  They also learned about New Rochelle's rich 325 year history, famous New Rochelle residents like Lou Gehrig and Norman Rockwell, and the history of some of our buildings like City Hall, New Rochelle's first high school and many buildings in New Rochelle's downtown.

                                                            Students at Glen Island

They also spend the mornings at either the Adult Learning Center teaching English or at Trinity-St.Paul's Church making 60 bagged lunches to serve to New Rochelle's neediest residents.  It is powerful to see the difference you can make in just a morning of service to our fellow men and women.

To bring our work to an even deeper level, Professor Ilene Haspel from Iona's Social Work department led a discussion about social justice and privilege to further our understanding of the work we do and why it is needed.  The Go New Ro students participated in a "Privilege Line," which can be very hard for some people to experience.  However, our students utilized the experience to engage in a discussion that shed light on some challenging societal structures and how we can work to provide more access to those who need it through both service and advocacy.

In the afternoon half of our students travelled to either the Shakespeare Garden in New Rochelle's Davenport Park, working with the New Rochelle Garden Club to weed and clean the garden.  The other half travelled to Project Family Soup Kitchen in Mt. Vernon to serve those in need in a neighboring city. Project Family is one of Mission and Ministry's regular service projects, so this was a great opportunity to introduce the Go New Ro team to a way they can continue their service to the community in the fall.

We finished the day with two important programs.  First, the Go New Ro students got to "find their footing" in an interactive session learning about leadership and involvement at Iona from five of Iona's top student leader: Trista Rivera, Brian Pristash, Matt Harrigan, Mike Foti, and Caitlyn O'Toole.  The Go New Ro students got to learn about their leadership journeys and benefit from a question and answer period.

Then we all participated in a wonderful Iona tradition, our own version of Mission and Ministry's Coffee House.  Every member of the Go New Ro team stepped out of our comfort zones to share our own unique gifts and talents.  Some of our talents included Irish step dancing, singing, reading poetry acting, and even reciting our US President's in order from memory (forward and backward).  Look out world, this group's got the goods!  It's a great day to be a Gael!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Go New Ro 2013: First Day!

 June 26, 2013
Go New Ro has finally arrived!

Today nineteen freshmen arrived for the Iona in Mission: Go New Ro 2013 program.  They have come all across the United States (Florida, California, Texas, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York) to begin their Iona careers engaging in service, developing leadership skills, reflecting on social justice, and deepening their understanding of citizenship. What a group they are!  The students are lively, engaged, very intelligent, committed to faith and service...truly great Gaels in the making.

We began our time together by breaking the ice and building our newly formed community. After the ice was broken we began to look at why we are participating in Go New Ro and to look at the foundations of our program. The Two Feet of Social Justice was introduced as our way of thinking about service, social justice, and community engagement.  By using each of the two equal feet of direct-service and advocacy (leadership) we are able to walk balanced and effectively. We also examined the mission statements of Iona College, the Office of Mission and Ministry, and the Office of Off-Campus Housing to ground us in the vision of Iona.

The group also hosted a Hospitality Supper at the Mission & Ministry House of Hospitality, which is a staple of the Iona experience.  Every Thursday evening a student organization hosts a free dinner where all are welcome...this time our Go New Ro'ers hosted for upper-class peers and Iona College staff.  Carl Procario-Foley, the director of Mission and Ministry, co-led our Hospitality reflection with our great student leaders Areini and Kate Ann.  We were asked to put ourselves in other people's shoes by throwing our own shoes in the circle and imagining the lives of Matthew at the soup kitchen, a recent immigrant learning English at the Ursuline Outreach Center, and Br. Damian a retired Christian Brother at the St. Joseph's Care Facility.  I can't think of a better way to start this program by coming together as an inclusive community gathered to share food and also call to mind our brothers and sisters on the margins of society.

Lastly, we were asked to reflect on our leadership style and given an amazing foundation in leadership theory by the Office of Student Development's Jason Gloe and Lauren Zanfardino.  The students examined their values, split into groups for a leadership exercise, and set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based).

Pictures below: 
Go New Ro'ers hard at work collaborating on building largest tower activity to "win a bid for Habitat Humanity contract..."  How do we communicate, listen, delegate, share, and creatively think?


Signing off until tomorrow...tune in to hear about the service projects and other activities the day will bring!  
          Stephen Hill, Coordinator of Iona in Mission

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tying it All Together by Megan Nicolaro

May 26th, 2013 - Day 6

As I stare at the blank page and think about my week in Washington D.C, I’d like to say I’m speechless, I have no words, but that would be a terrible lie. I have so many words: amazing, eye-opening, busy, inspiring, hilarious, full of joy. I wouldn’t trade my week in D.C for the world. I’ve met so many inspiring people and visited so many extraordinary places. 

I think my favorite of all of the places we visited was A Wider Circle. I still can’t get over the fact that one man’s simple idea was brought to life and actually making a difference. Some logic, an idea, and some hard work is to blame for this wonderful place. A Wider Circle gives furniture to formerly homeless families to furnish their new house. They also provide classes for career development and a free business clothes boutique for their clients. The CEO’s only rule at A Wider Circle is, “There’s no maximum on anything that you should take. But, there is a minimum amount of clothes you can take: 5 outfits”. He knows that the key to success is confidence and confidence starts with a killer outfit! To actually talk to and work with these families was amazing. They had crazy stories that I thought only existed in movies. And moving furniture all day really put into perspective for me what hard, manual labor is; I don’t do that at home! 

We met so many people who know that real meaning of hard work. Whether they get up at 5 am to start their work day of 3 jobs, or dedicate their whole lives to their organization, or stay in the kitchen all day preparing 5,000 meals for minimum wage, they all had a positive attitude and that to me, is unbelievable. 

Of all the inspirational people I met throughout my week at D.C, perhaps the most inspirational of them all were the people on my team. I am so blessed to have met, spent time with, and formed relationships with the people on my team. I don’t know too many people who would take a week out of their summer to help people they don’t even know, and I feel so lucky to call those people my friends. The patience, joy, and life they all exude is contagious and I have loved working and spending time with them. 

Iona in Mission was an amazing experience. The people, the places, and the memories will last forever and I look forward to continuing mission work back at school in the fall. Thank you, Iona in Mission, for introducing me to wonderful people and, even better, introducing me to another side of myself that I really love.