Students help at Cabrini’s annual fund

By Jenay Smith
April 2, 2012

For about two to three months out of each semester, a select few Cabrini College students are Phone-a-thon callers.

Phone-a-thon students are students that call alumni, parents and friends on behalf of the Cabrini Fund. This fiscal year, their goal is a whopping $50,000.

What is it like being a phone-a-thon caller?

Some say it’s a challenge but the conversations you have with alumni, faculty and friends are priceless.

“Actually the first person I called was this really nice woman who talked about how Cabrini was a great experience for her and it made a difference in her life,” Pat Schneider, senior marketing major, said.

These callers are students of different years, backgrounds, race and experiences. From 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. these students make calls to alumni, past donors, people who have never given before, friends, parents and faculty.

Calling this wide spectrum of people is not always an easy task according to Phone-a-thon caller Breona Palmer, freshman undeclared. She mentioned how sometimes you may have a caller or two that are a little difficult to deal with.

There are even times when past donors pass away and Phone-a-thon callers are the first of the Cabrini family to find out. This makes the job very sensitive for some of the people they call.

It also keeps them on their toes about professionalism and how to deal with sensitive issues. When these times come, callers are urged to stay optimistic.

“Stay positive,” Schneider said. “Occasionally you’ll have people who just don’t want to donate but just don’t let that get to you and keep calling and just stay positive and have fun.”

The head of Phone-a-thon, Elona Lakuriqi, Cabrini’s annual fund coordinator, always encourages positive attitudes and smiles when calls are being made. She is known to often refer to “The Secret,” produced by Rohnda Byrne.

“The Secret” is based off the law of attraction. The law of attraction states that you can attract anything into your life that you think about.

“When you think positive you get positive results,” Lakuriqi said.

This law has been proven for Lakuriqi during her time at Phon-a-thon and she maintains a positive attitude.

“With myself, I set goals and I make sure I train my students properly and do anything necessarily to reach those goals,” Lakuriqi said.

Some conversations had with donors and even non-donors are very pleasant. Sometimes the callers are graced with the opportunity to speak with people who share the same major or extra-curriculum.

Phone-a-thon callers often network and ask about the field alumni are working in. Someone actually received an internship from making phone calls with Phone-a-thon.

Other callers mostly enjoy clever answering machines. Some have their children leave the outgoing messages, some like to rhyme and others love to sing.

Those are the things about phone-a-thon that lightens everyone’s mood.

Kevin Matthews, sophomore finance major,  feels that Phone-a-thon is a fun environment to work in and would recommend this job to anyone.

“There’s not one time I think I can’t do this or that this is an un-achievable goal,” Lakuriqi said.

Phonathon is a unique program where current students contact alumni and ask for donations for the Cabrini annual fund.

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Jenay Smith

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