SJC Brooklyn alumna Ayana Kone said the reason she donates to her alma mater is because she believes education and intellectual values should be attainable to anyone willing to put in the work.
Kone — who earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management in 2007, followed by an MBA two years later at SJC — said donating to the College’s scholarship fund is her way of giving back to the institution that afforded her so many opportunities.
“I think this just lends support to learning,” Kone said in the second annual ISJC Week questionnaire, conducted by St. Joseph’s Office of Alumni Engagement. “There are students who want to try courses and some that want to attain a master’s degree after they complete their bachelor’s degree.
“People often don’t plan to go further or learn more, and this gives them an opportunity to expand their learning or go higher in education and opportunities if they choose,” she added.
Kone has continued to dedicate herself to education and the business world since graduating from St. Joseph’s. She works as a consultant in private banking for anti-money laundering, terror financing and human trafficking; teaches business at Medgar Evers College; serves as the treasurer of a small nonprofit board VillageHQ; and sits as the vice president of the St. Joseph’s College Alumni Board. She is also working on completing a doctorate degree.
Kone is one of many St. Joseph’s College alumni who choose to give back to St. Joseph’s College.
Giving to St. Joseph’s
Last spring, alumni were so energized by the idea of giving back to students at St. Joseph’s that they obliterated the College’s goal for its 24-hour Giving Day fundraiser, celebrating St. Joseph the Worker Day. More than $75,000 was raised during the campaign and went directly to specific program funds benefitting students.
The fundraiser helped the Golden Eagle Athletic Fund, the Student Emergency Fund, the Alternative Spring Break Fund, the SJC Bears Athletics Travel Campaign, and rejuvenated the Bear Cave recreation area at SJC Brooklyn, among other initiatives.
Barbara Traola ’72, assistant professor of child study and special education placement coordinator at SJC Long Island, was among the more than 1,100 donors who contributed to the campaign.
“I give to pay it forward and to preserve the traditions and values that I received at St. Joseph’s College,” she said.
Many St. Joseph’s alumni donate with the same energy all year round.
Kathleen Magistro ’05, M.S. ’16, SJC Long Island’s director for undergraduate admissions, said she is grateful for the opportunities that the College has afforded her educationally and professionally.
“Attending SJC with a generous scholarship allowed me to become the first in my family to graduate from college,” she said. “I take great pride in my education and enjoy donating to further the educational goals and dreams of others.”