Mentorship Match Spotlight: Joei and Thatcher

Meet mentor Joei DeCarlo and her mentee, Thatcher Williams! Joei is a sophomore at Temple University and a double major in Strategic Communication and Adult & Organizational Development. Thatcher, a freshman at Temple, is majoring in Strategic Communication. Outside of PRSSA, Joei is a PRowl Account Executive, legal assistant, cook, and shopper (preferably Macy’s). Thatcher is a part of Temple’s Gymnastics Club.

Since becoming mentor and mentee, Joei and Thatcher have discovered their mutual love for coffee and building each other up in their chosen fields.

Joei on why she wanted to be a mentor: I wanted to be a mentor to try to build a relationship similar to the one my mentor created with me (Shoutout to Clarissa Ford). I was happy to have the opportunity to help someone like I needed help as a freshman, such as writing a resume, scheduling classes, and simply knowing I had a friend on campus.

Thatcher on why he wanted to be a mentee: I wanted to create a connection with someone who loved PR like me, so the mentorship program seemed like an amazing opportunity. I also wanted to have someone to help me navigate PR and to offer advice on how to obtain internships and to become more involved on campus.

What types of activities have you done together, in both a professional and/or personal capacity?

T: We’ve had coffee together at Starbucks. Joei has been a big help in creating my resume and she also offers advice on what classes I should take next semester. We text often with Joei being so easy to talk to! Whenever I have a question, I feel so comfortable asking her because I know I can get great advice.

J: Yes, I love our Starbucks dates! We both love a great caramel macchiato and can work on resume editing or just talking about classes. Thatcher makes being a mentor so easy because he’s always excited to meet and makes our meetings so fun. I forget I’m mentoring and feel more as though I’m just meeting with my friend, which is how a great mentor/mentee relationship should be!

Moving forward, what plans do you have for the mentorship program together?

T: I love coffee and Joei is so insightful… so definitely more coffee! I plan on continuing to have Joei as a mentor because she’s been so helpful and enjoyable to be around. Joei’s involvement in PRowl and work ethic have motivated me to become more involved myself!

To connect with Joei and Thatcher, follow them both on Instagram joei_decarlo and blackboyemoji.

Green Tree School: Transforming Lives and Impacting Communities Pt. 3

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Green Tree Partners with Plato’s Closet:

Lilly Pulitzer, Ralph Lauren, and Abercrombie and Fitch are just a few name brands students at Green Tree will be able to purchase with the creation of a new school store. Plato’s Closet has generously donated a wide variety of clothing to Green Tree, providing children with the opportunity to purchase items as well as gain important independent living skills.

Students will be able to “purchase” clothing donated from Plato’s Closet with “Green Tree Dollars” awarded by faculty members as a result of good behavior. All students can participate and are encouraged to get involved within the school store. Students will be able to gain hands on work experience by applying for and receiving jobs with designated work schedules. They will learn how to cashier, stock, and develop customer service skills.

The students of Green Tree are anticipating the opening of the school store as final touches are being made to ensure a memorable grand opening. Students will even get to decide the name of the store, as a contest will be held in the next upcoming weeks.

Through the generosity of Plato’s Closet students have the ability to acquire high end clothing as a result of their own personal actions. The store promotes excitement, unity, hard work, and accountability.

Green Tree is transforming the lives of students and impacting communities by providing children with opportunities to learn regardless of their unique challenges, abilities, or backgrounds. This school store is just an addition to the many programs they have in place.

Green Tree is now accepting all clothing donations, adding to the variety of clothes that students will be able to purchase and take home to wear.

By: Katie Prantil, Brianna Love, Noelle Franklin

Green Tree School: Transforming Lives and Impacting Communities Pt. 2

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Green Tree Partners with Episcopal Academy to Bring Green Tree’s Once Dull Activity Room to Life

A week prior to us visiting Green Tree School, the activity room was described by David Cambridge, the Director of Education as bland and gray. But with the generosity of Episcopal Academy, a local private school, they helped bring this once dull room to life.

A group of eight to ten Episcopal Academy students accompanied by a teacher, transformed the area into a vibrant activity room. The volunteers came out and transformed the room in one day, by adding several creative pieces, including a large mural. This room accommodates a broad range of students, not only different ages but also different divisions of severe emotional and autism spectrum support.

The purpose of the activity room is so that students can move around freely and build basic skills throughout the day. Some of the amenities of this room include stimulation-inducing items such as yoga balls and a ball pit, which help calm and soothe the students. Also, here they use the PECS system. This is a series of pictures that allow students with low verbal skills to communicate their needs. By providing these resources, the students demonstrate better behavior and reduced levels of frustration.

The volunteers from Episcopal Academy added to this goal by making this environment more relaxed and inviting. This movement and occupational therapy space gives access to high end treatment irregardless of a student’s outside life. Hands-on activities are sometimes required for some students to feel calmer.

Soon the volunteers from Episcopal Academy will be bringing to life a community garden which the students of Green Tree will be responsible for; the garden will provide fresh ingredients for lunches and teach the kids the values of creating something from the ground up.

By: Katie Prantil, Brianna Love, Noelle Franklin

Green Tree School: Transforming Lives and Impacting Communities Pt. 1

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A group of PRSSA members had the privilege of visiting Green Tree School, a nonprofit, state-licensed agency that provides education, therapeutic and clinical support to children ages 5-21 with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe Emotional Disability. David Cambridge, the Director of Education, walked us through the new innovations provided by Plato’s Closet, Students Helping Students (SHS) and volunteers from the Episcopal Academy, and showed us how the new amenities provided by these organizations have transformed the lives of students at Green Tree.

Green Tree Partners with Students Helping Students to Create Green Tree’s First Library

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Students Helping Students (SHS) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve educational equity to institutions in need. As Green Tree is implementing their first library, SHS has generously donated hundreds of books that would have otherwise been discarded. According to the Students Helping Students website, they are working towards “solving current environmental and social crises through community activism.” SHS’s community activism will not only motivate the students of Green Tree in the classroom but also show them the environmental benefits of recycling books.

By: Katie Prantil, Brianna Love, Noelle Franklin

Things I learned at my internship

One of the best internships I’ve ever had is coming to a close, and it’s amazing looking back at what I’ve learned this semester. I am the PR intern for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), a nonprofit organization that organizes the Philadelphia Flower Show each year. Being hired for spring semester meant all the work I did made a direct impact on the Flower Show. My tasks always varied and I got a ton of hands on experience. From those tasks, I learned a few things I learned that might help you in the future.

How to Manage Volunteers

This was unexpectedly one of the hardest parts of my internship. People are very difficult to manage at best, and when they aren’t being paid it’s nearly impossible. One of my tasks at PHS was to organize volunteers for a media tent set up during the week of the Flower Show. I contacted everyone I knew, filled every shift, and then when the show began to approach, people began dropping like flies. Naturally, I panicked, but continued to recruit volunteers by reaching out to people outside my network. Luckily, I figured things out and, despite the mess, learned few tips for the future.

Make sure to stay on top of volunteers by sending them reminders. You should also recruit more volunteers than you actually need as a back up when people decide to back out. This back up list will come in handy and help you when you’re feeling as desperate as I was.

How to Effectively Interview Someone

Another task I had at PHS was interviewing a variety of people for blog content. I did in-person, over the phone and email interviews, and each time I did one, I got better at it. In the beginning I was a little rusty. A majority of the interviews were on the phone and I couldn’t take notes fast enough, I wasn’t articulating my questions the way I wanted to and I was a little lost.

Eventually, I got much better and felt like a veteran. I had all of my planned questions written down, along with the purpose for speaking with this person. I kept the conversation from straying too far from the topic by asking them to refer back to the original question when things began to drift. I also took much shorter notes, only writing complete phrases that I knew would be a great quote to include in my blog. When doing in-person interviews, I’d always ask to record them because then I wouldn’t have to worry so much about catching every detail.

Writing Blog Posts

Weekly, I was asked to write a blog post for the Flower Show’s website. I struggled assignment because these weren’t blogs for my personal website, these were blogs that were coming from PHS, and although I may have been the author, it was not my voice I had to portray. I realized I was using my voice through the edits my advisor gave me for my first few posts. To get away from that, I read through a lot of the PHS blogs that had already been written, along with the PHS website in general. From there, I was able to match the voice PHS wanted its audience to hear, while still putting my own creativity in the post.

By: Erin Quiles

Read Up: Staying informed on social media

By: Mina Lezenby

“I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures,” said once by Paul Barron, author of “The Chipotle Effect.”

In the PR industry, there is no question that social media can be essential for any of these reasons. Whether it’s a research tool to learn more about your audience or to help build a community around an organization or client, social media is the place to find real-time results.

But the world of social media can also be insanely confusing when trying to keep up with the latest platform updates or the newest app –all the while, still trying to focus on doing your actual job in social media or communications.

To help cope with living in the age of information overload, I wanted to share some websites that can be fun reads, while still keeping you informed on #whatshappening on social:

Mashable: To me, Mashable is like a more tech-focused Buzzfeed. Yeah, they still post goofy stories that might not be totally related to anything sometimes, but it’s often some good old-fashioned brain candy, along with top highlights happening around the tech industry, and social media specifically.

We are Social Media: While I think I coincidentally found this through social media, this website out of the U.K is a great social media-focused blog. Their posts focus on the less mainstream updates from the social industry, and it is timely with the major announcements and rollouts too. This is a good source if you’re looking to delve deeper into the finer workings of each platform and how they’re growing.

TechCrunch: TechCrunch is another major hitter in publications that are topical for anyone in communications or technology to be reading. While the title of the online resource might have you thinking, “This is going to be more technical,” and will go over your head, it isn’t. While the articles may cover some tech-heavy stories straight out of Silicon Valle, they offer updates on other major digital platforms such as brand apps and social media platforms. Reading content from this site can be a great resource for you to stay a little more on top of your tech game in both being informed and seeing what other brand competitors are doing digitally.

Whatever publication is your fancy, make sure to check up on them often. While you’re out on an interview or working with a client, it’s important to not let yourself get to out of date on what’s happening on social, even if you don’t always work with it directly in your internship or job.