Sarah Dennis is an Associate Director US Member Engagement at the Golden Key Headquarters here in Atlanta Georgia. Sarah will be responsible for grassroots membership communication and helping local Golden Key chapters drive awareness and launch events on campus. She oversees the US Southeast region, which include universities located in states such as Alabama, Georgia and Florida. We were lucky to catch her in between her busy schedule to learn more about this staff member!
Where are you from/ where did you grow up? I grew up in sunny South Florida! I was born and raised in Boca Raton, just north of Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Where did you go to college? I am a double Seminole! My bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from Florida State University.
What did you study in school/ major in? As an undergrad I was a Management major, with a minor in Hospitality Management and a certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. I then earned my Master’s in Business Administration while working for Florida State University in the Office of Internships & Career Services.
What are your hobbies? I love to hike, cook, and cuddle up with a good book. I’m very interested in politics and economic policy. In Atlanta I hope to volunteer for Make-a-Wish and the Humane Society.
What is your favorite quote? “Those that do well must also do good.”
What is your favorite sport? I love to watch college football. Go Noles!
What is your favorite TV show? I love shows like No Reservations, House of Cards, Criminal Minds, New Girl and Modern Family!
What excites you the most about working at Golden Key? Getting to work with students from all over the Southeast! And also the amazing team in the headquarters, I have the best coworkers.
Fun Fact: I am new to Atlanta, so I am having the best time exploring my new city. The first time I saw snow was just a few weeks ago when I woke up to flurries covering Atlanta!
What is a traditional family? According to most definitions, a traditional family is made up of a man, a woman and one or more of their biological children. However, did you know that more than 50% of children in the US do not come from or live in “traditional family” environments? This is according to http://www.pewresearch.org. In addition every spring while children anticipate summer break, single parents dread the approaching season due to lack of financial resources to accommodate their children during the day while they work.
It was once said that, “it takes a village to raise a child”; which essentially states that the efforts of raising a child are communal and not solely that of the parents. This concept can be seen in various cultures, religions and institutions across the world; Golden Key International Honour Society included. In an effort to do our part, Golden Key has partnered with Kiddos Atlanta to provide safe, educational, affordable and accessible day time care.
Kiddos Camp is a 5 week STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) camp that will provide 3 meals a day to 45 of its campers, along with a wide range of physical and curricular activities. Camp will begin on May 31st and end on July 1st. Scholarships have been made available to those with a financial need due to the funds raised by GK chapters across the nation; enabling a variety of students to attend. This morning was GK Kiddos Camp Kickoff and it went exceptionally well with parents, counselors and staff alike. We look forward to an amazing 5 weeks with our “kiddos”.
Written by Dominique Sherrod
Typically when your stomach grumbles, you don’t think twice about how to remedy that situation. Being able to walk to your fridge and/or food filled pantry is a privilege many of us do not realize so many others are without. However, did you know that according to www.feedingamerica.org, current government statistics indicate that roughly 47 million Americans lived in food-insecure households; 15 million of them being children.
In an effort to do their part to combat this, the Golden Key chapter at Syracuse University partnered with the Central New York Ronald McDonald House in preparing meals for 25 of their residents. All additional unused items were also donated. The Ronald McDonald House of Central New York has been a place of refuge for the hungry families of children who are seriously ill for more than 30 years.
When families travel far and wide to receive health care services throughout the Upstate New York area, Ronald McDonald House Charities provides both an atmosphere and sheltered environment where families can feel welcome and comforted.
Stopping hunger one meal at a time is the motivation and knowing that the residents had a hot, fresh meal to eat at the end of their day was the biggest reward to participating GK members.
Written by Dominique Sherrod
With the daily challenges the modern day college student faces, it’s always a refreshing surprise to learn of those students who overcome the odds and display what greatness is about. Kristen Dearborn; currently an English major with a 3.71 GPA, is no stranger to obstacles, nor that of success. As a struggling high school senior, Kristen participated in the Southern Connecticut State University Proof of Ability program the summer before entering college. While this was not an easy feat, Kristen’s determination enabled her to successfully complete the program and paved the way for greater success ahead.
Her undergraduate career is a clear representation of what it means to defy the odds. Not only is Kristin the President of the Golden Key International Honour Society chapter at Southern Connecticut State University, but also the recipient of the Study Abroad Academic Merit Scholarship! In addition, Kristen was recently awarded the Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award; a scholarship awarded to 12 students within the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system. The Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award honors those who not only serve and exemplify significant excellence in the classroom, but also in their communities. It is an absolute honor to have you a part of the Golden Key family. Way to go Kristen!
Dominique Sherrod is an Associate Director US Member Engagement at the Golden Key Headquarters here in Atlanta Georgia. Dominique will be responsible for grassroots membership communication and helping local Golden Key chapters drive awareness and launch events on campus. She oversees the US Western region, which include universities located in states such as California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona. We were lucky to catch her in between her busy schedule to learn more about this staff member!
Where are you from/ where did you grow up?
San Diego, CA
Where did you go to college?
University of Cincinnati
What did you study in school/ major in?
What are some of the things you were involved in, in college?
Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant. Kuamka Scholarship Pageant. Resident Advisor.
What are your hobbies?
Dancing. Working out.
What is your favorite quote?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
What is your favorite sport?
What is your favorite movie?
What is your favorite TV show?
What is your favorite band/singer, and/or song?
Jesus Be A Fence by Fred Hammond
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
What is the #1 most played song on your iPod?
I’m Good by Tim Bowman Jr.
What website or blog to you go to everyday?
What is the best and worst gift you ever received?
Life is the best gift I could ever ask for. No worst gifts.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
What excites you the most about working at Golden Key?
Being able to directly and positively impact students, advisors, parents and all other supporters of GK
*Fun Fact –
I wish I could sing but since I can’t, I whistle songs in their entirety
Anything else we should know about you?
I truly believe, “You are what you think.”
UCT GK Service decided to hold an Easter egg drive to collect eggs for the children of Maitland Cottage Home, Leliebloem Child and Youth Care Centre, Tenterden Place of Safety and James House.
(Over 700 Easter Eggs were donated)
We advertised the drive using social media, email and posters placed around campus. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of UCT students and staff members, as over 700 Easter eggs were donated!
On Thursday 24 March, UCT GK Committee members visited Maitland Cottage Home. Maitland Cottage Home is a hospital for children who have suffered orthopaedic injuries. The children, mostly bed ridden, were delighted by our visit and the special appearance of the Easter bunny. The committee handed out Easter eggs, chatted to the children and played games with them.
(Pictured above are UCT GK Committee members, Sarah Forshaw, Shehani Perera, Joanna Taylor, Katherine Tredinnick and UCT GK Service Subcommittee member, Lindsay Cook and the Easter bunny at Maitland Cottage Home.)
Next, we visited Leliebloem Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC), a home for children orphaned by HIV/ AIDS and a place of safety for children who have been abused or come from homes where unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse are prevalent. Sadly, the Easter bunny could not join us this time, but the children were extremely excited to receive a handful of Easter eggs.
(The adorable children of Leliebloem CYCC were incredibly excited to receive a handful of marshmallow eggs.)
We also dropped off chocolate eggs at James House, who distributed the eggs to the children in their ISIBINDI and BEST projects. The ISIBINDI project provides a community- based model of care for infants and vulnerable youth, it serves a large number of children and their caregivers in the community of Hout Bay. The BEST (Building Emotional Stable Teens) project aims to give a vision and direction to teenagers who are at risk in the community due to challenging home circumstances.
Our final stop was Tenterden Place of Safety, a safe home for children who have been abused or neglected. We dropped off boxes of marshmallow eggs for them to use in their own Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday.
We are so grateful to everyone who donated Easter eggs and to all those involved in this initiative. It was so rewarding to see the chocolate covered smiles of all these deserving children!
Written by Katherine Tredinnick.