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Volunteer Spotlight: College Chapter Leadership Advisors

The Project Sunshine College Leadership Advisory Program has really taken off this academic year. Leadership Advisors are volunteers who have been in the Chapter Leader role, managing a Project Sunshine Chapter at their college or university for at least a year. This is a leadership opportunity that gives them a chance to lead other College Chapters at a national level.

This year Project Sunshine has five very accomplished Leadership Advisors: Julie Mandel (University of Pittsburgh), Rebecca Leisher (University of Delaware), Julie Rizzolo (Arizona State University), Melinda Ma (University of California, Los Angeles), and Valeriya Gershteyn (Rutgers University). Each Advisor is in charge of a different region and oversees a portion of the 58 active college chapters under the supervision of the Project Sunshine New York office. They are able to provide guidance and support by pulling from their experiences as Chapter Leaders.

Some of the major projects that they accomplished during the fall semester were planning and organizing trainings for Project Sunshine Chapter Officers nationwide on how to utilize social media and on taking excellent photos of programs while still following important privacy guidelines; contributing and encouraging other chapters to submit articles for the college chapter newsletter; and providing much needed guidance to new Chapter Leaders learning the ropes.

The Leadership Advisors have regular meetings to share knowledge and brainstorm new ideas. This allows them to really bond and get to know each other, and to better support the College Chapters in the different regions. Melinda has this to say about being involved in the Leadership Advisory program:

"Being a National Leadership Advisor for Project Sunshine has been one of my most rewarding experiences thus far. I had the pleasure of working alongside amazing fellow advisors and Senior Coordinators to improve upon and develop Project Sunshine´s mission. I am so fortunate to have been volunteering with Project Sunshine for the past four years. This organization has helped me discover my passion to heal and provide pediatric patients and their families with the utmost love and compassion as an aspiring physician."

If you´re a current Project Sunshine Chapter Leader and you are looking for another leadership opportunity in the 2016–17 academic year, contact Tara Pokras at for more information.

More Volunteer Stories of Interest

Sports Illustrated model, Damaris Lewis, volunteered for her second year as a Project Sunshine Dance Camp instructor to empower young women through dance.
Emilio Delgado, who has played Luis on Sesame Street for 40 years, brought sunshine to pediatric patients at Mount Sinai´s KidZone as part of Project Sunshine´s Book Club

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