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Michelle Aquino '06

michelle aquinoWhat being an alumna means to me...

Being an alumna of Manhattanville is something I am extremely proud of. The core values of becoming an ethically and socially responsible leader for the global community was something I actively did as a student and continued to do outside of Manhattanville's walls.  During my time at Manhattanville, I was constantly surrounded by the concept of volunteerism and giving back to the community. Most of my time was devoted to all the clubs and activities I became a part of. I felt that I made a significant difference during my academic years and after graduating I wanted to continue to make a difference. What I learned from Manhattanville has driven me to continue to help others. I wake up every morning and I love what I do. I thank Manhattanville for helping me realize that I do not want to work for a large company but rather a small organization that works to benefit the lives of others.

 Manhattanville's diversity and uniqueness are things I truly admire and believe that cannot be gained from any other institution. Manhattanville's strong sense of community taught me how to become a leader, a strong advocate for things I believe in, and it gave me a chance to experience the world. I am a firm believer of the saying "once a valiant, always a valiant." I am proud to be a Valiant. And I am honored to be a part of such a community that has allowed me to grow, not only academically, but as a better person.

Michelle Aquino '06, MS '09 graduated from The New School University with a Master of Science in Non Profit Management. During her graduate career, she interned at several organizations such as The Office of President William J. Clinton and AFS-USA. Currently, she is an Advancement Associate at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research where she fundraises critical dollars towards Parkinson's research. Last year, Michelle and the Advancement team raised over $50 million to help learn more about the disease, develop better treatments for Parkinson's patients, and, ultimately, get closer to ending Parkinson's disease. Outside of her current position, Michelle continues to work with Manhattanville's Admissions staff and serves as an Alumni Interviewer to find qualified students to join the Manahattanville community. 

Outside of her professional career, Michelle is an active member of Manhattanville's Young Alumni Society as well as several young professional committees including organizations such as Trickle Up and The Hunger Project. Several times a year, she fundraises for various difference causes through a project she began in 2009 called "Party for a Change." Through this project, she brings together young professionals to expand professional circles while promoting awareness to various charitable causes. Party for Change has raised funds for different organizations such as Right to Play, The Marine Foundation's Toys for Tots and the Redlight Children Campaign.