Student Spotlight: Aneesa

Meet Aneesa Addarich!

Pronouns: she/her

Major: Human Development with a minor in Immigration Studies

Hometown: Yonkers, New York

What are your involvements (on campus, off campus, abroad, etc.)?

  • I am a first generation college student so I am a member of TRIO Student Support Services, a campus organization that promotes academic and personal growth for first-generation students, income-eligible students and students with disabilities at Binghamton University. Through SSS,  I have mentored first year students and supported them through the transition from high school to college. 
  • I am Vice President of Chi Alpha Epsilon, the national honor society for SSS and EOP students. 
  • I’ve worked on campus since my freshman year, in the Undergrounds at the pool hall and bowling alley, and as a Guest Services Associate at the front desk in the Union.
  • I am an English as a Second Language tutor with Paper Airplanes. I have 4 students from Syria and Turkey that I host virtual speaking classes for once a week.  
  • Last semester I was an Immigrant and Refugee Social Services intern at the American Civic Association. I assisted the immigration caseworker with preparing citizenship applications for clients, created marketing/social media content, and contacted potential job sites for refugees in the Binghamton area.
  • Through Binghamon’s Harpur Law Council, last summer I interned at the Sheffield Hallam Refugee Reunification Clinic in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, it was unsafe to travel to the UK so it was held via Zoom but it was still a great experience nonetheless. As a legal intern, I examined the complexities of domestic policy in the UK, researched asylum law, and co-authored a research paper entitled, “Tuberculosis Testing in the United Kingdom’s Immigration Process: An Appeal for Policy Review”. 

What is your favorite part about Binghamton and your favorite experience?

  • My favorite class right now is Advocates of Human Dignity with René Rojas. We analyse systems of power and oppression and the types of collective action needed for emancipatory social change. It’s definitely a challenging class but so interesting once we connect the theoretical concepts to real life situations. Professor Rojas is very knowledgeable, kind, and has given me a new perspective of politics and the importance of organizing the working class for social change.
  • My favorite experience at Binghamton did not take place in Binghamton, but I found the opportunities through Binghamton. Two summers ago I studied abroad in the Netherlands and volunteered in Puerto Rico. I studied Migration at the Hague University through the Keith Sherin Global Leaders Program. It was my first time travelling outside of the United States and I am so grateful for Binghamton University and my advisor in SSS, Steve Rebello for helping me through the application process. The next month, I went to Puerto Rico through SUNY Stands With Puerto Rico as a disaster relief volunteer. My team and I repaired homes damaged from Hurricane Maria, harvested and planted crops on local farms to revitalize the community, and cleaned trails in El Yunque Rainforest to allow rainwater to drain into the gutters. Since I am half Puerto Rican, it was very rewarding for me because I felt a connection to the people I was helping and grateful that I could assist the island in recovering from the hurricanes. 

What are your career goals and the steps you have taken towards them? 

I will be graduating in the spring and I plan to take a gap year with Americorps before applying to graduate school. I was inspired to join Americorps because of my experience in Puerto Rico, where my team was led by Americorps volunteers. After graduate school, I hope to work in the nonprofit sector focusing on empowering immigrants and refugees. The internships and volunteer opportunities I have been able to participate in at Binghamton has definitely given me lots of experience working with vulnerable populations, and I hope to be able to apply those skills at an organization that values social justice as much as I do. 

Do you have any advice for students? 

  • Two pieces of advice: First, Binghamton offers so many opportunities to advance your career and diversify your college experience, so make sure you go out and look for them. Start researching and staying updated on everything Binghamton has to offer, whether it’s internships, scholarships, or other opportunities. There are so many experiences available, you just have to be willing to put in the work to find and apply for them. Second, be willing to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. If you’re a STEM major, use a Gen Ed to take an artsy course like English or Sociology. It can give you a different perspective and introduce you to something you didn’t expect to like. 

Can you tell us something you’re looking forward to this year?  

  •  It has been an amazing 4 years at Binghamton but I am so looking forward to finally graduating in the spring! 
By Maya Tierney
Maya Tierney Maya Tierney