Thursday, December 2, 2021

Shine On! prepares for conference

Mia Morgillo

This fall, Shine On! is looking for new mentors for their annual spring conference. Leaders at SUNY Plattsburgh are encouraged to get involved this semester to help with the overnight programming for girls at the April conference.

Shine On! is a women-run nonprofit at SUNY Plattsburgh helping young girls in the North Country harness their confidence. Founded by Colleen Lemza, associate professor of public relations, Shine On! continues to empower young women for what is now more than a decade. These third to fifth graders are mentored on media literacy and social intelligence before all the changes that come along with middle school.

Mentor interviews are being held Oct. 2 at noon in Yokum 206, Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. in the Cardinal Lounge, and Oct. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in Yokum 208. To become a mentor, go to one of the mentor informational sessions, fill out an application, and those selected will be interviewed for the position.

Childhood and Special Education master’s student Megan Benner is in her third year at Shine On!. Going from Mentor, to Lead Mentor, to Education Outreach Coordinator, Benner now creates lessons for mentors to present in local schools for 30-40 minute lessons, once a week for nine sessions. Due to COVID-19, the education outreach has adapted as the Sunny Buddies online program last year and this year.

Emily Slattery, a senior public relations major, is now the chairwoman for Shine On! She reflected on how amazing last year was when, although virtual, the conference with NASA hosted 6,200 students. Traditionally, these conferences are held in person at Memorial Hall for 200 girls. 

“At conferences in the past, we have had workshops on STEM, how to be an upstander, and perception in social media,” Slattery said.

This upcoming conference will be an overnight conference at Camp Pok-O-MacCready in April, and Shine On! is looking for mentors.

Stephanie Kozloski, a senior biomedical science major, began her involvement her freshman year when she volunteered at the Shine On! annual conference. 

“I wanted to get more involved, and they were doing interviews last fall for the upcoming spring semester, so I just went for it and now I’m on the committee,” Kozloski said.


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