1c. NA.png

Transfer Stars - Leadership Program




Project Experience: Sep. 2014 - Dec. 2014, New York City

My Role: Narativ Co-trainer, Program Designer

Contribution: Storytelling, Education

Collaboration: City University of New York - Adam Joncich; Research Foundation CUNY (RFCUNY); John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Ford Foundation (Art and Culture Subcommittee); A.R.T New York; Abingdon Theatre; Blue Lotus Research - Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment; Horns and Tails Productions - Program Documentation

Team: Narativ Inc - Jerome Deroy, Benaifer Bhadha

Project Copyright Narativ Inc. All rights reserved.

Helping students share their stories of grit and transition


Narativ’s 12-week Leadership Development Program for John Jay College(CUNY) students was designed to publicize powerful transfer student stories of transition and perseverance, ending with a final performance at a black-box theatre off Broadway in New York City. As a storytelling trainer, I co-designed, supported and co-instructed the training program. 


Majority of college students (over 60%) in the U.S are now considered transfer students. Often coming from different countries, working 40 hours a week as they finish their degrees, or coming back to school after having a career in a different field, transfer students are often desperately searching for a way to understand their experiences, and feel like they are part of the community. 


Adam Joncich, a counseling psychologist at CUNY, enlisted the services of Narativ Inc to design and facilitate the program with a 1-year Ford Foundation educational grant. This program was designed to provide the participants new skills training in oral presentation and performance, essential skills for college students readying for graduation.


The students were trained in Narativ’s Listening and Storytelling Method, and practiced the skills of non-judgmental, open listening, and story construction.

Program Details:

  • 1 semester pilot: program implemented Fall 2014
  • 12-week seminar format: 2 hours per week
  • 11 students, 3 group trainers


  • Venue: Off Broadway Abingdon Theatre, NY
  • Each performer ~ 6 minute story
  • Audience of 90 family, friends, peers, public


“You learn how important it is to listen to somebody without discriminating and just listen to what that person is saying. It can really change your life.” - Program participant after the training

  • 100% program completed
  • 93% student attendance
  • 99% of students said that they were completely satisfied
  • 99% of students said the training was extremely helpful

The Leadership Development Program was also presented by John Jay College at the 13th National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students National Conference (2015)