Alex Foley ’22
Hometown: Fairfield, CA
Major: Industrial and Labor Relations, human resourses and pre-law concentrations
Minors: Leadership; Inequality Studies; Business; Law and Society
The issue of public concern I’m passionate about is … I have been passionate about food insecurity and am focused on learning more about LGBTQ+ rights along with homelessness and housing policies.
Engagement experience: My engagement experience started out when I first got to campus. As a Tradition Fellow, I knew that I wanted to be involved both on and off campus as soon as I started my freshmen year. Right away I started the Certificate of Community-Engaged Leadership, where I learned the difference of engagement through service and exposure through volunteering. I quickly joined the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, where I have been exposed to many different areas of public concern and have been able to connect with many organizations in our local community while maintaining a global purpose. APO has allowed me to explore service areas that I haven’t previously been exposed to and has given me the opportunity to do meaningful service with my brothers. I also joined Alternative Breaks last year where I learned the importance of curriculum-based learning and reflection before, during and after service to meaningfully connect with the communities we work with. My trip focused on LGBTQ+ youth homelessness in New York City and the experience was life changing. I also took EDUC 2610, The Intergroup Dialogue Project, last spring to learn about communication across differences which continues to allow me to better engage with my community.
I got involved because … I believe in the power of community engagement to create a positive, lasting impact on our communities. I have seen service-learning principles in action and know that education and critical reflection are equally important as the service portion of engagement. I also want to harness the skills of service leadership so that I can take them with me into my career.
As an Engaged Ambassador, I … hope to work with my peers to facilitate growth in the areas of community engagement while also continuing to learn and focus my own career path to align with principles of and service learning.
My friends would say I’m … busy and involved in many areas of campus.
Best Cornell memory (so far!): Joining Alpha Phi Omega and having so many friends to hang out with all the time!
Fun fact: I recorded an album with my high school’s jazz band at Capitol Records in Hollywood.
Future plans: I want to study abroad at the University College Dublin next year as part of an ILR exchange program. After college, I want to work in Human Resources and eventually go to law school to study employment law.
I work with my community(ies) to address … social equity especially for the LGBTQ community as well as climate change and combatting the inequitable effects it has on various communities.
My friends would say I’m … committed, caring, energetic, and compassionate.
Fun fact: I was a marathon runner throughout high school and ran my first full length marathon in 8th grade.
The best part about the community-engaged leadership program is … the community of individuals dedicated to so many different social issues. Learning about their passions, efforts, and experiences has always been a source of inspiration and energy for me in my academic and personal journey. Being in the Certificate program while also being an Engaged Ambassador allowed me to have access to a supportive and caring community throughout my time at Cornell. This has inspired me to focus on my academic interests and my future career on the public good.
For my Stage 2 committed project, I … I worked remotely with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s HR team researching diversity, equity, and inclusion related topics to create resources for the organization.
My community partner(s) taught me … the importance of empathy and taking another’s perspective while also focusing on how change can be slow and intensive process.
I plan to continue my journey as an engaged leader by … continuing to incorporate critical reflection and mentorship practices into my life. I recognize my role in contributing to the greater social good through my daily actions and through my academic and professional pursuits. I plan on pursuing a law degree to use law as an instrument for social change.
A cohort of students who have completed the Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership and lead a variety of special projects for the Einhorn Center