Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Donor Spotlight: Daniel Spahr '02

Daniel Spahr was an active and engaged student at Hofstra, who took advantage of four study abroad programs and fell in love with travel and the experience of selfdiscovery. His first study abroad experience to Italy would later inspire him to publish a memoir, The Montepulciano Mob, in 2010. The book details Dan’s first time being away from his family and outside the country as he learned about himself, his peers, and the world away from his home on Long Island.

Dan says this first study abroad experience and the three others that followed — to Madrid, Australia and Venice — instilled in him a love for adventure and exploration. He says each of the study abroad programs “hold very different memories for me. They really helped me expand my ability to see the world and to understand different cultures.”

After graduating from Hofstra in 2002, Dan relocated to the
West Coast — a move he says he would “not have had the guts to make” had it not been for his time abroad. He began to work as a part-time teacher, while also pursuing a Master of Arts in school
ounseling. Upon completing the M.A., he worked in the Bay Area of San Francisco for several years as a high school counselor. He followed that up with a position as a day counselor and job coach for five mentally disabled adults. While doing all this, he volunteered his time to and financially supported Under One Roof, which raises money for HIV/AIDS charities in San Francisco.
He emphasizes again the value of study abroad and how it changed his outlook on life. “As a counselor both in New York and California, I’ve been able to use my experiences abroad to understand how people come from other countries to live in this country and how scary it can be. You learn to have empathy for these people.”

Proceeds from the sale of Dan’s memoir, The Montepulciano Mob, benefit a scholarship he has
established for the Hofstra in Venice program. “I created the scholarship to help other students have the experience that I did. I created it particularly for that program because Venice has always been my favorite city. If I had to live anyplace outside America, I would choose Venice.” 

Though he graduated less than a decade ago, giving back to Hofstra is a priority for Dan. “I wanted to make sure the torch is passed. I wanted to find a way to help people and give back to a place and aprogram that helped me become the person I am today.”


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