Early on, I realized that student experience, institutional rankings and the trajectory of an institution is highly dependent on the relationships built with alumni that encourage growth. After transferring from Iowa after putting my finger on a map, I first became involved in giving to Stony Brook through automatic withdrawals from my paycheck, but after being asked to support the new softball lockerroom project, I felt compelled to step up my game.
Though I have taken out $100,000 in student loans to fund my degrees, virtually all still left to be paid, I knew I could work my income and finances to jump on and sponsor a locker to show my support for a group of girls that get a lot less support than many other athletic teams on campus.
In the spring of 2012, I had some pretty serious health issues and medically withdrew from the institution I was attending at the time, uncertain if I would be able to return to Stony Brook. It was at that time, a friend of mine who was a student athlete was incredibly inspirational in keeping me focused and optimistic in restoring my strength to complete my degree at Stony Brook. If it weren’t for her, I’m not sure if I’d have made it through that and gotten this far.
Giving back is just the tip of the iceberg in showing my appreciation for all the community has given me.
—Emily Felton ’14, Founder and Organizer, Iowans4Progress
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