Service Above Self. It’s the motto of the Rotaract Club, and it’s a way of life for Kontessa Siliski.
Kontessa, a junior Multidisciplinary Studies major with a concentration in Mathematics and seeking Special Education Endorsement, devotes a great deal of her time to others.
She finds a variety of ways to be of service to others, serving as president of the Student Education Association (SEA) and the vice president of Rotaract Club. She is also a peer mentor for the College Steps program, a certified Peer Advocates for CHANGE member, and the TRIO Program Assistant in the Academic Support Center.
Kontessa said that community service has always been an important part of her life. A desire to serve is a quality instilled by her mother, who encouraged her to help whenever she is able. She grew up involved in many service projects in her hometown of Granville, New York, as a Girl Scout and with her mother.
“Helping others brings me great gratification. I enjoy using my time selflessly to make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Kontessa said. “I think I have always followed the ‘service above self’ motto. Because of this, I joined Rotaract, where I can continue to help others.”
Both SEA and Rotaract Club have provided an outlet for Kontessa’s drive to help others and also offered leadership opportunities. When many members of the SEA were set to graduate, Kontessa stepped in to fill the void by recruiting students and was elected the next president.
“I really enjoy working with the other members in SEA to participate in events we sponsor in the community. Through collaboration, we have learned so many new ideas about educational leadership that can help us when we become full-time educators.”
After graduation, Kontessa plans to find a job at a small school in Vermont as a K-2 educator and go back to school to get her master’s degree.
“I would especially like to thank all of the professors in the Education Department for encouraging me to do my best and helping to build my confidence when I thought that I didn’t have what it takes to be the student I am today.”