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John Jay Alumna Receives Prestigious NYC Fellowship in Mayor’s Office

As classes begin this semester and students are either returning to John Jay or attending for the first time, one of its distinguished alumnae is starting her own journey. Nayanny Bello, an international student from the Dominican Republic who graduated in May 2013 with a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Administration and Planning, will begin her New York City Fellowship in the Mayor’s Office this fall. Nayanny becomes the first John Jay student to earn this prestigious fellowship which accepts only eight applicants nationwide for a year-long experience that “offers a unique opportunity to obtain practical city government experience in the areas of volunteerism and community service at the city level.”

Prior to this fellowship, Bello was an intern in the Office of John Jay President Jeremy Travis from August 2012 to June 2013. For the month of August 2013, Bello worked as a research assistant in the Office of the President. Among her many projects, she worked in a leadership capacity on the fall 2013 Immigration and Deportation Initiative. The initiative is intended to bring the discourse and continuing legislative efforts surrounding immigration and deportation into the life and curriculum of the college, to generate debate and conversation, and to engage the John Jay community.

“Conducting research in the Office of the President has been a remarkable, challenging and thrilling experience. The support I get from them is fantastic. Every process of the fellowship, from President Travis and the presidential staff members to the Internship Coordinator, was exceptionally positive,” said Bello.

“Nayanny was a great Presidential Intern and we are proud that she will be doing a fellowship in the Mayor’s office,” said President Travis.

Bello was also a Congressional intern in the U.S. House of Representatives this past summer in Washington, DC. She researched bills and legislations for Congressman Charles Rangel and legislative staff on the federal budget process, record expungement of certain nonviolent criminal offenses and other topics. Bello attended a Senate hearing on the closing of Guantanamo Bay that was held in response to President Obama’s call for closing the facility. She also attended a policy briefing with Latino social innovators at the White House and weekly colloquia that featured prominent members of the Washington, DC, community and legal institutes. She worked on two criminal justice bills: an HIVAids bill and a Second Chance Ex-Offender bill.

“Interning on Capitol Hill has been an unparalleled experience for me,” Bello said. “I was exposed to high levels of networking. Having the opportunity to explore the U.S. government at the federal level allowed me to apply the wonderful education I received in the MPA program. I enjoyed working in DC. I learned so much, from politics to museums to government. I definitely attribute my success to my wonderful ‘familia’ and the exceptionally supportive mentors, professors and coworkers that I met at John Jay. I am extremely grateful to everyone who has helped me throughout my educational journey.”

Bello’s ultimate goal is to become an attorney and, eventually, a member of Congress. “I always knew I wanted to serve and help people, to serve the community. John Jay has shaped me and armed me to go out into the world and make changes. After my experience in DC, I see that being a Congresswoman is such a great way to help the whole nation. I can see myself doing it,” she said.

Bello says her motivation to serve others was cultivated throughout her life by her family. She said her mother and father have always encouraged her to excel throughout her education, to be successful and to give back.

In addition to Bello’s accomplishments, she has worked as a teaching assistant, a peer mentor, a peer ambassador, an orientation team leader, a French, Spanish and Italian tutor, and a student government representative. She has also interned in the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the Bronx Family Court.

“Agradezco inmensamente a Dios por ayudarme a obtener una exitosa carrrera y bendecirme con una grandiosa familia que ha sido el punto de apoyo y soporte en mi vida, siempre guidandome a alcanzar el más alto de los éxitos,” she said about her family.

Bello reflected, “My father is always telling me that I should do the right thing and be ethical. He tells me that, although I may have to struggle and work hard now, at the end of the day it will be worth it and I will be happy. I am currently working on that day to come.”