Buffalo, NY - Jenyia Wilson ’18, MS ’20 made her first gift to alma mater on Canisius Giving Day 2021. The day’s theme – One Canisius – inspired the young alumna because it reflected how every member of the Canisius family is present to support one another. So, when March 3 came around, Wilson invested in the programs that influenced her future.
The C.O.P.E. (Canisius’ Opportunity Program for Education) Office and the Communication Studies Department, Wilson says, supported her education and aspirations, laid the foundation for an incredible post-graduate life and gave her a head start on her career. Both placed her in fundraising and development internships at the Boy Scouts of America and then Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Both, Wilson says, offered “incredible real-world experiences.” She even joined the box office team at Shea’s after the internship ended.
Wilson found Canisius by way of the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), which is supported by the C.O.P.E. Office and offered the academic, social and financial support Wilson needed to pursue her college degree.
“HEOP provided me with so many resources and opportunities to make my Canisius experience much better and help me prepare, because I was a little behind my peers as a freshman,” Wilson says. “C.O.P.E. really helped me find my path in college and provided me with constant support.”
Now Wilson is doing the same for current Canisius students, as coordinator of academic support services in the C.O.P.E. Office. She joined the team shortly before the pandemic began and quickly realized the additional challenges that would lie ahead for first-year students ransitioning from high school to a college setting. Concerned about their well-being, Wilson directed her Canisius Giving Day gift to the C.O.P.E. Office.
“I’m now doing the work that someone did for me,” says Wilson. “So I know what we need as an office, and we can use the extra support and resources.”
Wilson finds her work rewarding and sees, firsthand, that she is helping to acclimate first-year students to their new life as college students, setting them on a path towards success, and giving each the best living and learning opportunities possible.
To make a gift to Canisius, visit www.canisius.edu/give.