SRU Senior wins PennACE student of the year for interning at nonprofit in Jamaica

Published by adviser, Author: Erica Kurvach - Staff Reporter, Date: December 7, 2012

The first SRU student to win the PennACE JoAnne Day Student of the Year won $500 in the nonprofit category for the statewide competition this year.

The other two winners are Emily Galli, Penn State University, for the technical category and Jennifer Hoppe, Millersville University for business. Galli was a Corporate Development Intern with Highmark, and Hoppe was a Wealth Management Intern with ParenteBeard.

Winners will be attending the Annual PennACE state conference in Harrisburg in May.

Grace Evans, a senior mathematics major and professional studies major with a focus on nonprofit was qualified and picked among the other competitors because of her Outreach Intern with Amizade Global Service Learning this summer.

She felt that she stood out among the other applicants because she could work on her own and make creative ideas.

“I was able to take ideas and run with them on my own,” Evans said. “Being a nonprofit minor gave me the ability to understand what goes on in nonprofit and meeting the needs in time and money that nonprofits are short on.”

While she was an intern, she got to travel to the site in Petersfield, Jamaica, a small town of 2,000 people with hundreds of American volunteers visiting each year, and met the ambassadors.

“When I was in Petersfield, no one could understand why anyone would call a school Slippery Rock,” Evans said, laughing.

Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Linton Allen, was meeting the Petersfield community for his first time.

“It was a huge deal,” Evans said. “When the helicopters were landing, goats scattered all over the field. Kids got out of school while still wearing their uniforms and were waving Jamaican flags.”

The community was so thankful that Evans had the opportunity to visit. About 30 seconds beforehand, Matthias Brown, the president of their community organization, asked Evans to speak to Allen about how important their partnership is to Petersfield.

After graduation, Evans plans on going into the nonprofit field. In January, she is going to the National Nonprofit Leadership Alliance conference in Atlanta to receive her Certified Nonprofit Professional Credential.

“I’m still in contact with Amizade to run programs,” Evans said. “The goal is to have it live on here at SRU. I’m graduating in May. It’s a happy and sad time to be graduating.”

At end of the internship, she connected the organization with SRU.

“One of my passions is helping others find their passions in service opportunities at SRU, connect with and presenting people with opportunities to look outside their own lives and see what is there to see.”

During Winter Break, Evans is facilitating in Trinidad and going to Jamaica for the SRU Care Break.

Erin Lingenfelter, a senior exercise science major, was a PennACE finalist for the nonprofit category. This past summer, Lingenfelter worked on cardiac rehab in an internship at Bradford Hospital. At Bradford, she did fitness evaluation on every patient before designing their exercise program. She checked their blood pressures and monitored their electrocardiogram. Lingenfelter knew that she was qualified for many reasons.

At the internship, she worked for a variety of people from ages 14 to 90. She taught classes on heart education for heart surgery patients.

Last semester, she was a personal trainer for John Snyder, the supervisor for The Office of Career and Development. He suggested that she apply for the award.

Lingenfelter made sure that she represented herself unique in the application to PennACE.

“One of things that I mention on my paper that I sent was dedication,” Lingenfelter said. “I’ve always been interested in helping others.”

Her favorite part of the internship was meeting a 14-year-old girl and seeing improvements within a course of 15 weeks.

At the end of the course, the girl, who was crying, gave Lingenfelter a gift and a note.

“The note said that I was the sister that she never had,” Lingenfelter said. “I helped her do a mile and build self-confidence.”

The gift was a surprise for Lingenfelter. “Okay, so, she lives on a farm,” Lingenfelter said. “She gave me two dozens of brown eggs which was real sweet of her. Then, I used those eggs to make cookies and brought them to everyone at work.”

Next month, she is going to Africa through a volunteer medical support trip called Kaya Volunteer. She is going to help doctors with a number of tasks such as weighing babies and assisting in check-ups.

“A ton of applicants were better,” Lingenfelter said. “I’m sure Grace’s was fantastic. I wasn’t quite prepared for this award since John told me about it a month or two before deadline.”

Lingenfelter was student of the month in the Exercise Science Department last year. “I think being a PennACE finalist is awesome and something I’d put on my resume,” Lingenfelter said. “I’m not offended in any way that I didn’t win.”

Currently, she is a applying to Pa. schools to become a physician assistant. She got accepted to the University of Mount Union in Ohio. Lingenfelter is from Ridgeway, Pa.

Lingenfelter is graduating in December. Evans is a SGA commuter senator. Amizade means friendship in Portuguese.

There is a number of requirements to be eligible for the JoAnne Day Student of the Year Award such as being enrolled in a PA school with a current PennACE membership, nominated by an employer or by the school and have completed an internship during the academic school year.



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