HSAC Member Elected to the 2012 - 2013 NRHC Executive Board
We are proud to announce that an HSAC member, Freda Raitelu, has been elected to be a 2012-2013 Student Representative on the Executive Board of the Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC). Freda is a sophomore and a Liberal Arts (Social Science and Humanities) major at LaGuardia, and a proud mother.
Among Freda’s responsibilities are providing a student’s perspective on the NRHC’s programming efforts and initiatives, and serving as an organizer of the 2013 NRHC annual convention in Philadelphia. Here is Freda’s story:
“On December 30, 2010 at 9:27 a.m., I received the phone call I had wished would come for over ten years. There was a match for a kidney transplant! I cannot explain the thrill and nervous energy that overcame me. Should everything go well, my life would fundamentally shift for a long time to come. You see, in January 2000, I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease, also known as kidney failure.
At the time, I had no conception of what I was about to endure as a result of my prognosis. I would spend over 13 hours a week attached to a machine, which functioned solely to keep me alive by clearing my bloodstream of toxic build-up. My experience as a dialysis patient has been likened to existing as 'a dead man walking.' Day in and day out, I was defined by my illness: as a kidney, dialysis or nephrology patient. I was limited in all aspects of daily life and it was utterly dreadful.
During my recovery from the kidney transplant surgery, I realized there was no time to waste, and that life for me now was a new and beautiful horizon. The opportunity to reconfigure an identity outside of my illness was mine for the taking. I entered the halls of LaGuardia Community College just eight weeks after the transplant and my life has never been sweeter. I have fully immersed myself in the process of formal education and I love it. My ultimate goal is to teach in the field of the humanities at the college-level. I am particularly passionate about the subjects of History and Literature.
I am an appointed Executive Member of the Honors Student Advisory Committee (HSAC), the student arm of my college's Honors Program. While our ongoing aim is to build and strengthen the LaGuardia Honors Program, it is also our duty to promote academic, civic engagement and scholarship opportunities among the entire student body. For instance, this past March, my HSAC colleagues and I organized a college-wide “Spring Into Action!” event during which students learned about the Honors Program, transfer success guidelines, voter registration, and poll worker job opportunities for the upcoming Presidential elections. In addition, we fashioned our very own Mock Presidential Debate where issues of Education, Immigration and Universal Healthcare were discussed. I was chosen to play the role of Vice President Joe Biden! The experience was truly rewarding and fun! In addition to the fulfillment I gain from organizing these kinds of activities, I also get much satisfaction when students drop by our HSAC offices (M-222) for academic peer advisement and support. I find it really extraordinary to be part of a committee that functions to inspire all students (and the HSAC members themselves) to aim high, stay informed, and be pro-active in their academic pursuits.
While belonging to the LaGuardia Honors community has undoubtedly given me a keen sense of academic direction, my position on HSAC has provided me with opportunities to flourish as a leader, while also fortifying my own academic resolutions and commitment to integrity in leadership. As an NRHC Student Representative, I offer these qualities, as well as my dedication to fostering an atmosphere that combines both intellectual development and peer networking opportunities. Having overcome many personal challenges, I am confident that I have the skills, motivation and determination to serve the students of the NRHC. I believe in humanity's infinite potential for good, and I am very excited by the challenge offered by this position to expand Honors students' access to this potential.”
We wish Freda all the best in her service as an NRHC Executive Board member; we are confident that she will represent LaGuardia, the Honors community and HSAC on the regional stage superbly!