College Interns Prove Themselves as Leaders, Learn Valuable Skills Through Intense Program

Aug 9, 2014

The 2014 Synergy graduates pose for a photo. The college interns made their final presentations Friday and received their certificates.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
Four weeks of intense teamwork by 50 Central New York college interns on community service projects culminated Friday in a graduation and awards ceremony at SUNY Upstate.  Five groups of ten students in this year’s Synergy program were given a topic of focus, did research, put on an event, and made final presentations.  

Each team and project was judged.  The "purple" team won best team, and was headed by Ryann Crofoot who will be a junior at SUNY Oswego.  

Members of the "Purple" team gather on stage to receive their award for best team of 2014. The team's project director Ryann Crofoot is on the far left.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

  Their project was addressing Syracuse’s low high school graduation rate.  Her team’s event put together guest speakers from different fields to educate students about the benefits of graduating regardless of their career path. 

 Meanwhile, the "green" team won for best project about mental illness.  The group planned, fundraised, and put together an event that focused on preventing depression and self-harm behaviors. 

   Project manager Sequoia Kemp told the audience that personal experiences among group members generated ideas for coping with life’s struggles, and that they resonated with the youth they reached.  

  Kemp will be a junior this fall at the University of Rochester.  For their efforts, project leaders Kemp and Ryann Crofoot each received Ipads.  They and each winning team member also received $100. The Synergy program is facilitated by Mercy Works, and is supported by numerous other businesses, institutions, and organizations through donations of time, staff, supplies, and grants.