Last updateWed, 21 Apr 2021 3pm


Student Workers: The Turner Syndrome Foundation

Student Works 1Monmouth University students can become involved in different ways—through clubs, on-campus jobs, Greek organizations, or becoming Resident Assistant (RA) or student ambassador. Some students even begin to work at a non-profit organization. Five Monmouth students currently work for the Turner Syndrome Foundation, located in Hazlet, NJ.

The Turner Syndrome Foundation (TSF) was founded in 2009 with a mission to raise awareness of Turner Syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that affects 1 in 2,000 females (two million in total), according to their website. The non-profit organization strives to reduce the age of diagnosis and increase the standard of care for affected individuals. TSF also provides educational resources, supports research, and continues to broaden its reach to patients and caregivers worldwide.

Ameka Yawson, a junior sociology student, has been working as a Program Assistant at TSF for about three weeks. Born in Liberia and having moved to America with her family in 2004, she is the youngest of seven children and a first-generation student.

“I decided to work with TSF because I was trying to explore a job opportunity that combines two passions of mine, both medical and sociology,” Yawson said. “This job was the perfect fit. I get to be part of a team that is seeking answers for a medical condition which is just awesome.” Yawson enjoys the skills she gains while working for the foundation, such as Microsoft Excel proficiency, because of its wide use in the workforce.

“Even though I’m just the program assistant, my role is important,” she continued. “I input/organize data that is being used to better the organization.”Student Works 2

Kierstyn Holly, a communication student, has worked as the Communications Coordinator at TSF for a little over a year. “[I want] to encourage and support those with Turner Syndrome and help those who must have a better understanding,” Holly said. “Every individual deserves to have their voice be heard. My role at the foundation is to advocate for this cause and let the stories of those living with Turner Syndrome be known.”

Holly decided to work at the foundation because she knew she would gain experience in the public relations field while also learning and raising awareness for a condition that she was previously unaware about. Watching the TSF community come together and share their stories to help others has inspired her, helping her gain hope for the future.

“Seeing that lives are being changed for the better because of the work being done at TSF has showed so much hope for those being affected by Turner Syndrome,” Holly said.

Annabella Marte, a business administration student, has worked at TSF for about four months. As the Community Outreach Coordinator, she hopes to continue to advocate for those affected by Turner Syndrome and to build and maintain community support.

Student Works 3“I decided to work with TSF because of my mom and her background working with non-profit organizations,” Marte said. “For years, myself and my family have volunteered and been heavily involved with various organizations such as the domestic violence awareness coalition in New Brunswick, central New Jersey Health consortium, and the Visiting Nurse Association, as my mom has always had a passion for helping those in need and taking action regarding women’s rights and accessible health care to lower income households, women, and children. I’ve always wanted to develop an experience with a non-profit as well to gain insight and help those in need, so I researched TSF and felt encouraged to work with them.”

What she’s enjoyed most about this experience is the emphasis on community outreach and the development of a community for those affected by Turner Syndrome. “As the Community Outreach Coordinator, I often stay connected with those involved with the foundation and find that because of us those with Turner syndrome feel heard and comforted that there’s a rally of people behind them supporting them,” Marte said. She also noted that the organization offers various networking opportunities and provides the ability to adapt to the various methods of communication.

Rowan Elrais, a junior in the 5-year program for special education, works as the organization’s Education Initiatives. Just like her colleagues, she strives to increase awareness of the foundation and to assist in building a stronger community.

“As an educator with a concentration in special education, I have been trying to find more experiences related to my major,” Elrais said. “I have worked with so many different people with so many different disabilities, but I have never heard of or worked with anybody with Turner Syndrome before. This felt like an amazing opportunity to broaden my scope on the disability spectrum. I want to become a useful resource to all those in need and an advocate for them as well.”Student Works 4

Elrais has only worked for TSF for about two weeks, but she hopes that her skill set will become a reliable resource for the foundation.

Last but certainly not least, me! As a junior communication student with a minor in political science, I work as the Press Coordinator at TSF. I empathize a lot with those who have Turner Syndrome since I also suffer from a medical condition with no cure—epilepsy. That’s why I hope to make a difference at the foundation.

Since I was diagnosed with epilepsy, one thing I have done for myself and others was advocate. Advocacy is the best way to bring light on a situation and inform people. With my new role, I will advocate for the Turner Syndrome community, educating the public on this condition and the roles they can take to help.

Student Works 5I decided to work at TSF because I wanted to gain experience working with a non-profit, being that I’ve never worked at one before. One thing I’ve enjoyed about my experience at TSF is the environment. It’s clear that TSF is a very supportive community, as its members are there to uplift and aid one another.

I have gained many useful skills from this experience—most importantly time management, responsibility, and using one’s voice to advocate for a cause. With my job, I have a voice that I can use to inform others about Turner Syndrome and encourage them to get involved. Knowing that I can contribute to this cause warms my heart and makes me realize the power of advocacy and education.

Each of us working at TSF are enthusiastic about using our roles to create change and spread awareness of Turner Syndrome. We may only just be college students, but we are hard workers, learning as we go. We are proud to not only represent TSF, but Monmouth University as well.


IMAGES TAKEN from TurnerSyndromeFoundation.org

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu