October 2020 Student Spotlight
Keiara Salomon, BSPA ’21
We talk with Marxe student, Keiara Solomon about her work in the NYS Senate program, her internship with the United Nations, and remote learning at Marxe.
Can you tell us about your recent experience in the NYS Senate program. What was your role and what did you learn that was particularly interesting or unexpected?
Working for the NYS Senate was a very unique experience. I worked in the office of Senator Brian Benjamin, who represent Senate District 30, which is mostly composed of Harlem. In his office I was responsible for legislative research, scheduling and conducting meetings, and attending Legislative Session.
Attending Session was always an interesting experience. I remember the night when Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins called an emergency legislative session to provide Governor Cuomo funding to combat COVID-19, the first true action NYS took to combat the virus. The Senate Chamber was tense, as Senators began to argue about the proper course of action to take. Being able to witness this moment firsthand, and then to see how COVID-19 began to spread across New York State was surreal. This course of events clearly illustrates how policy and laws truly affects our daily lives.
What about your internship with the United Nations? That must have been exciting. What initiatives were you supporting during your time there and what were some general takeaways about working at the UN and the work the UN was engaged in during your time there?
My time with the United Nations Global Compact was very exciting. One of the main initiatives that I worked on was a video campaign which called on business leaders globally to share their experience and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was interesting to see how people on a global scale were doing their part to help lessen the spread of COVID-19.
My greatest takeaway from this experience was developing an understanding for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs are goals to achieve a more sustainable future by 2030. Some examples are no poverty, zero hunger, gender equality and so on. When I learned about the SDGs, they appeared to be very ambitious. I did not know it was attainable to achieve these by 2030. Though as my internship progressed, and I learned more about the Global Compact, and its affiliates, I came to realize that its not a matter of ambition, it is a matter of necessity. As global citizens we need to achieve these goals and more to ensure safe and productive future for everyone.
How have you adapted to remote learning? Are you looking forward to your senior year despite the pandemic relegating you to mostly remote learning (at least during the fall semester)?
As a student, I have always avoided taking online or hybrid courses simply because I prefer being in a classroom environment. After being thrust into remote learning, I have come to realize it is not nearly as bad as I imagined. Everyone understands that these are unprecedented times, and that patience is required to get through them.