Emely Paez's undergraduate experience at SUNY Albany set the foundation for my passion for public service. As a member of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., she served as Vice-President, Social-Cultural Chair and Community Service Chair. Through these roles, she learned firsthand what it takes to help an organization’s vision thrive. They partnered with special guest speaker and professors, who helped them, discuss hot-button issues, such as reproductive health, domestic violence, and other critical issues. In 2008, she served as the AIDS Benefit Banquet Coordinator and helped raised funds for the non-profit organization Children Affected by AIDS Foundation (CAAF).

Earning the Senator’s trust and confidence within a short time span, she was named Director of Community Relations and Special Initiatives. Through grass-root organizing, she gained a deeper understanding about the dynamics that make up a community. In assisting constituent needs, she works to identify community issues and providing solutions by collaboratively working with city, state and federal agencies. The daily landscape of assignments includes forums and workshops on a variety of topics ranging from financial literacy to human trafficking and disaster preparedness. Learning to build, develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including Executive Directors of Community and Faith Based Organizations, and community activists provides a healthy forum of ideas within the Senate District. Every day brings countless opportunities with community residents who look to their elected officials to navigate the web of pubic services to make a difference and improve their quality of life.

She is incredibly proud of the work she have done to serve the public, but now she is ready to take the next step in my professional development. As a National Urban Fellow, she looks forward to the opportunity of learning in a new setting while working with other accomplished leaders to generate social justice.