Student’s Service Leads To Fellowship

Ellie Abraham was awarded a Newman Civic Fellowship for her service to the community. She is pictured in the Gordon Student Center.

Four years ago, Ellie Abraham decided it was time to make a difference. She was been born and raised in Central New York by parents who had immigrated to the United States from Palestine. They knew the hardships refugees faced when coming to a new country and starting over. That’s why Abraham started “Community Care of Syracuse.” “We collect donations for refugees and immigrants and give them to families in need. They come here with so much trauma and so many things going on.”

Community Care of Syracuse has taken off. Students from Onondaga Community College, Le Moyne College and Syracuse University have engaged in service-learning with the organization, volunteering throughout the community. Abraham’s group has collaborated with several organizations including Interfaith Works of Central New York, CYO, Vera House, We Rise Above the Street and Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital on a variety of projects. “Last summer we gave out more than 200 bicycles. Upstate Golisano gave out more than 200 helmets and educated refugees on the importance of wearing helmets.”

In 2017 Abraham decided it was time to try college. “I have three children. I had to show them the importance of getting an education. She came to OCC and enrolled in the Human Services major. Her outstanding work outside the classroom was recognized recently when she was named a Newman Civic Fellow. The yearlong program recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. “I wasn’t expecting this but it’s an honor. When I give back to the community I do it as part of our religion. I do things for the sake of God, I don’t do them to get rewarded. The reward is knowing you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing as part of humanity.”

Abraham wants to learn about mental health and become a counselor. She recently was certified as a mental health first aid instructor for adults and will soon be certified for teenagers as well. On March 28 she will be inducted into the College’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. In May she will receive her degree and plans to transfer to SUNY Oswego and major in Mental health. She’s setting quite an example for her children, the community she serves and plans to take advantage of her fellowship. “I want to build bridges with a lot of people, learn new things and make a difference in our organization and our community. I want to make this school proud. Receiving this honor makes me want to do more.”

Community Care of Syracuse can be contacted via email at or through the organization’s Facebook page, Community Care of Syracuse.

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