"It's second nature for me to dive right in," says Shenelle Brooks SAS'14, a Communications Arts major specializing in public relations.
Need proof? The senior is the president of the Student Government Association, an RA, manager of the basketball team, and a student orientation staff leader. Brooks also works at the Bursar's Office, and is a member of the Strawberry Festival and Women's History Month committees.
"I try to show my face at everything -- volleyball games, movie nights, open mic," Brooks says. Earlier this semester, she had been selling tickets to a back-to-school part, and "people were probably getting sick of me going door-to-door."
In between all of those activities, she's an intern at the Remington Boys & Girls Club in New Rochelle, where she works with facility directors to publicize events, spread awareness of the benefits of the club, and solicit help from the community. "It's pretty fun, especially because I like to work with kids."
Brooks grew up in the Bronx, but her family moved to suburban New Jersey as she entered high school. "It was culture shock," she says, and at first she wasn't enthusiastic about participating in school. "But once I got in volved in student government, dance teams, I thought ... maybe this won't be so bad. And I decided to make the best of my opportunities."
That drive to jump in continued from her very first year at The College of New Rochelle. She joined the Emerging Leaders group as a freshman, was program coordinator for her sophomore class, and served as SGA vice president last year. Running for president this year was a simple decision, Brooks says. "Why not? One last hurrah!"
In a way, attending CNR is a homecoming for Brooks, but it's only part of the reason she decided to attend the school. "When I saw the campus I instantly fell in love with it," she says. CNR also offered her the most financial aid, but it also helped that the college didn't make her feel "like just another number. I felt like I could really reach my full potential here."
It seems that inkling four years ago has become reality. "I've done a lot of growing up since freshman year, and I'm more equipped to go out into the world and be a success."
The hands-on learning in the Communication Arts department has been great, says Brooks, with TV production being one of her favorite classes. "I love making movies and direction," she says, while public relations classes have gotten her accustomed to writing a lot.
Brooks plans to go to graduate school, maybe for public administration, maybe here in New York or out in California. "There's nothing holding me back," she says, and she'll carry the attitude her mother has instilled in her. "She always says, 'Never let anybody tell you that you're learning too much.'"
Before she takes off, though, she wants to leave a legacy of student leadership that others will continue. She likes being one of the first faces that incoming freshmen get to see, as a member of the Student Orientation Staff. "It's rewarding to see them want to learn so much from us."