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Community Engagement

Ladder to Leadership

Hofstra University's Frank G. Zarb School of Business partners with Flushing Bank for a collaborative mentoring program between the Zarb School of Business and Uniondale High School. The program, "Ladder to Leadership: Nurturing the Next Generation of Women Business Leaders", brings together members of Zarb's Graduate Women in Business student organization with young women at Uniondale High School.

Flushing Bank

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Program Coordinators

Gioia Bales
Associate Dean and Professor of Finance
Frank G. Zarb School of Business
Hofstra University
Email Gioia Bales

Climbing the Ladder Leadership Workshop

As part of the Ladder to Leadership program sponsored by Flushing Bank, students from Uniondale High School were invited for a full day of events at Hofstra University hosted by the Frank G. Zarb School of Business and the School of Education. Uniondale students were joined with Hofstra mentors and began the day with fun ice breakers, in addition to a resume and career readiness workshop, and a session on how to prepare for college. The day’s events concluded with a special etiquette lunch given by Civility Expert Linda J. Williams. Students learned proper etiquette techniques to use while dining and in the business setting.

Author Regina Calcaterra Provides Messages of Inspiration to Uniondale High School Students

Regina Calcaterra, author of Etched in Sand, a #1 international best-seller and a New York Times best-seller, and co-author of Girl Unbroken, discussed compelling life stories of courage, resiliency and self-determination with students at Uniondale High School as part of the Ladder to Leadership program. Her books contain messages of optimism and the plight of foster children, that no child is a lost cause, and how we can all positively impact the life of a child in need.

Meshelle, The Indie-Mom of Comedy, Empowers Ladder to Leadership Students

Meshelle, The Indie-Mom of Comedy, spoke to students at Uniondale High School as part of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business' Ladder to Leadership program. The award-winning comedienne, author, and playwright spent the afternoon mentoring female high school students sharing both humorous and inspirational stories. Meshelle focused her message on empowering the students to set goals for their futures. She provided them with life advice and important tips to help them achieve personal and professional success. "I want you to know a little bit about a lot of different things, so that no one can ever say that you weren't prepared," explained Meshelle. The luncheon concluded with copies of her book 101 Things Every Young Woman of Color Should Know, distributed to students that were autographed individually with words of inspiration that they will be able to take with them as they navigate beyond high school and into their educational and professional lives.

Leadership Workshop with Uniondale High School Students

Zarb and School of Education students organized a leadership workshop with Uniondale High School students as they worked together to discuss and cultivate their passions. Students alongside their Hofstra mentors developed art to showcase their commonalities and aspirations as a group. They also discussed current issues affecting their generation and how to overcome them for the benefit of their future development.


“This program is a great opportunity for our local fourth graders who might not otherwise learn the importance of financial literacy and money management. It also allows Hofstra undergraduate and graduate students to give back to the surrounding communities and show the elementary students the importance of a good education.”

  • Associate Dean of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business Gioia Bales

“Capital One Bank is proud to partner with Hofstra University to launch the Money & Me program for local youth on Long Island. At Capital One Bank, we believe that financial literacy and money management skills are crucial building blocks for economic success. We invest in financial literacy programs to set individuals of all ages on the path to a life of fiscal responsibility and economic self-reliance.”

  • Former Market President, Nassau County, Capital One Andrew Corrado

Team Building Workshop

Zarb and Uniondale students participated in a team building workshop at Hofstra University to cultivate their communication skills. The Zarb student organization, shEOs and Zarb Women in Business, organized and mentored students as they worked through several activities throughout the day. The first consisted of several warm-up exercises, including telephone, and an activity focused on learning something new about each individual person within the group. Following that, the team worked together to solve a 95 piece puzzle. Lastly, teams were created and had to construct the tallest structure in 10 minutes using only spaghetti and marshmallows. Prizes were then given out to the winning team.

Etiquette Lunch with Linda Williams

As part of the Ladder to Leadership program sponsored by Flushing Bank, over 70 female Uniondale High School students were invited to an etiquette lunch at Hofstra given by Protocol Etiquette and Civility Expert Linda J. Williams. During this workshop, students, along with Hofstra student leadership mentors, learned proper techniques to use while dining and in the business setting. Some of the many lessons included place settings, proper table manners, introducing yourself, posture and poise and telephone etiquette.

Matilda on Broadway

Zarb and Uniondale High School Ladder to Leadership members shared a New York City experience to culminate a series of mentoring events for the fall semester. Students, teachers, faculty and staff visited Tony DiNapoli’s before the show and discussed their experiences this semester in  addition to future aspirations. They then attended Matilda on Broadway. Following the performance, students sat down for an intimate Q and A with the cast.

Flushing Bank mentors Uniondale High School Ladder to Leadership members about perfecting your resume and interviews skills

Flushing Bank representatives Rhonda Pierson-Delorenzo, vice president and branch manager; Stephanie Plotkin, vice president and senior human resources generalist; and Jean Stuart, assistant secretary and senior recruiter mentored Uniondale High School Ladder to Leadership members about perfecting their resume, cover letter and interview skills. Students were taught how to effectively highlight their achievements, in addition to the “do’s and don’ts” of proper resume and cover letter writing. Best practices for preparing for an interview, answering difficult questions and how to properly follow-up with potential employers were also discussed, and included role playing activities with Uniondale and Zarb School of Business students.

Fall Welcome Back Breakfast

In partnership with Flushing Bank, the graduate business club, Zarb Women in Business, along with undergraduate student leadership mentor young women from Uniondale High School. As part of this year long program, several events have been held, including workshops highlighting topics that range from respecting your body, sharing your culture and dressing for success.

Zarb Women in Business and shEOs student leaders organized a fall welcome-back breakfast for Uniondale Ladder to Leadership students to kick off the new academic year. The theme, “Celebrating Fall Around the World” shared cultures from China, such as the autumn Moon Festival and Germany, in addition to a historical perspective on traditions within the United States. Zarb students organized ice breaker exercises and spent one-on-one time with Uniondale students, each sharing their own culture and experiences with one another.

Uniondale Ladder to Leadership

Transitioning into College Workshop

Zarb Women in Business leaders discussed transitioning from high school to college with Uniondale Ladder to Leadership members at a workshop held at City Cellar restaurant. Students from both the United States and abroad shared their experiences. Awards were also given out to Uniondale students for their commitment to the program.

Cultural Workshop

Zarb Women in Business graduate student leaders organized a cultural workshop for Uniondale Ladder to Leadership students on February 6th. Cuisine from China, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean were provided for students to try different dishes from around the world. Uniondale students shared their culture with Hofstra students and learned about Chinese New Year, in addition to other traditions from China. One Uniondale student concluded the workshop singing a song in Spanish to her classmates.

Cinderella on Broadway

As part of the Ladder to Leadership mentoring program, Uniondale High School students accompanied by Zarb Women in Business leaders visited Times Square in New York City. The day began with a welcome lunch at Tony Di Napoli’s. Following the reception, students attended Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway. The message of the play resonated with Zarb and Uniondale students alike -- encouraging them to never give up in the pursuit of their dreams.