Meet the Community Mentors | St. Lawrence University Community Based Learning

Meet the Community Mentors


Name: Emily Benkert
Class Year: 2021
Major(s): Sociology
Minor(s): Education Studies
Extra-Curricular Activities: Advocates, and Swim team 
Campus-Community Partnership(s): Canton Central School District and St. Mary's School
s a new CM I am most excited about... A: Showing students how beneficial working in the community can be to the class you are taking along with it, as well as your other classes. I took a CBL last semester and it was one of the best things I have done at St. Lawrence. I look forward to helping students shape their experience at SLU with their CBL!

Name: Marly Davies
Class Year: 2021
Major(s):  Sociology and Environmental Sudies
Minor(s): Outdoor Studies and Philosophy
Extra-Curricular Activities:  SLU Yoga, Dub Club, Rock Climbing
Campus-Community Partnership(s): Planned Parenthood and Potsdam Humane Society
As a new CM I am most excited about... A: Getting off campus and into the community in a positive and impactful way. I’m looking forward to meeting more SLU students, both other CMs and Students taking a CBL course, as well as community members. 

Name: Jack Eldred
Class Year: 2021
Major(s): Business and Government
Minor(s): Math
Extra-Curricular Activities: Recruitment chair for Club Rugby
Campus-Community Partnerships(s): Friends of Higley Flow State ParkOgdensburg Boys and Girls Club, and Outdoor Program (Collaboration with CBL)
As a new CM I am most excited about... A:The ability to interact with and engage people that I would not normally have the chance of interacting with. I am also excited to be able to give back to the community in a way I would have never thought possible.

Name: Elle Gray
Class Year: 2019
Major(s): Environmental Studies/Government
Minor: Spanish
Extra-Curricular Activities: Alpha Phi Omega, Career Services Intern, SLU Buddies President, and Varsity Softball
Campus-Community Partnership(s): Cornell Cooperative ExtensionGardenShare, and littleGrasse Foodworks
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your CM role? A: Sharing knowledge of the community and volunteer opportunities with students who otherwise would not have known about them.  Also, I myself have found more of an appreciation for community interactions and am so excited to tell everyone about my own and my students’ experiences.

Name: Alexis Joy        
Class Year: 2019
Major(s):Statistics/Fine Arts
Minor(s): Computer Science
Extra-Curricular Activities: Advocates, Sports Analytics Club, and Stand By Me
Campus-Community Partnership(s):
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your CM role? A: This job is so rewarding because of the individuals I have worked with. Seeing how you make a direct impact on the people of NYSARC and helping others connect with those involved in the placement, is a feeling like no other.

Name: Svetlana Kononenko 
Class Year:  2021
Major(s): Biochemistry and Neuroscience
Minor(s): Anthropology 
Extra-Curricular Activities: Advocates, Class Year Council and Club of American Sign Language
Campus-Community Partnerships(s): Campus Kitchens Project at SLU and Free Will Meal Program
As a new CM I am most excited about… A: Mentoring people to work with a community without having a personal experience with a community is virtually impossible. I am particularly excited to work closely and be a decent volunteer for both Campus Kitchens and Canton Head Start. I am also excited to facilitate the formation of a strong and sustainable bond between SLU students and the community partners. 

Natalie Meagher
Class Year: 2019
Major: English
Minor: Performing and Communication Arts, and Sociology
Extra-Curricular Activities: Omicron Delta Kappa, Pre-Law club member, SLU Scuba club member, Relay for Life team captain
Campus-Community Partnership(s): Church and Community ProgramNorth Country Children's Museum, and The Arc of Jefferson-St. Lawrence New York (Fitness)
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your CM role? A: Being able to engage with the local community as well as a diverse group of St. Lawrence students. My favorite part about being a CM is having the opportunity to facilitate the connections between campus and the community.

Name: Amara Mitchell
Class Year: 2021
Major(s): Government
Extra-Curricular Activities: Cheerleading, and SLU DEMS
Campus-Community Partnership(s): St. Lawrence Correctional Facility
As a new CM I am most excited about... A: Making stronger connections to the community and helping students make the most out of their CBL placement. I’m also hoping to encourage others to take a CBL class or volunteer with the community more. It’s important to understand that while on campus we are blessed with an abundance of opportunities, people in the community might not have the opportunities and it’s important to give back to them.

Name: Alena Ragan
Class Year: 2020
Major(s):French and English 
Minor(s): Performance and Communication Arts (PCA)
Extra-Curricular Activities: Campus Kitchens, Film Club, Gospel Choir, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Newman Club, and Women's Bible Study
Campus-Community Partnership(s):  Canton Day Care CenterCyber Seniors, and Maplewood Campus
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your CM role? A: I love being able to participate in community service and facilitating community service work for others. I also love meeting so many new people (students, community members, CBL staff, etc.).

Name: Jenesha (Jen) Robert
Class Year: 2021
Major(s) Government
Minor(s): Arabic
Extra-Curricular Activities: Agape, Community Assistant (CA), and First Year Council
Campus-Community Partnership(s): Bittersweet Farm and Potsdam Central Middle School Mentoring Program
As a new CM, I am most excited about… A: Helping the first years at the festival of CBL. It was a really great experience for me as a first-year student. I look forward to seeing all the students come together and share what they have been working on to impact Canton.