The Resiliency Collaborative: Building Communities, Shaping Futures


For Bethel Maekele, social justice is not just a tangible goal to be achieved, but rather a continuous effort of empowering community members. Such is the goal of the Resiliency Collaborative, a Raleigh non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing equity in local communities, with Maekele acting as a Managing Intern.

The Resiliency Collaborative partners with organizations such as the YMCA and Wake Up & Read to increase resiliency by engaging in community service, education, volunteering, and fostering relationships in the Southeast Raleigh area.

“To me, increasing resiliency for someone looks like teaching and equipping a person with the coping skills to move throughout life,” said Maekele. “Coping skills are the tangible way to manifest resiliency in any situation that you are put in.”

As a current NC State graduate student working towards a master’s degree in Social Work, Maekele reflected on the educational and career path that led her to this line of work. “I searched for a role that would allow me to focus on storytelling and supporting a customer’s pain points from a larger scope, which led me to marketing,” said Maekele

However, after COVID-19 hit, Maekele found her career interests shifting.

“I saw that I was spending so much time outside of my main jobs supporting welcoming new people that joined the company, making sure they found their communities and sense of belonging,” explained Maekele.

She began hosting events and creating media content that centered around promoting equity, POC corporate representation, mental health, and women’s rights, which led her to begin work with the Resiliency Collaborative.

Now, she works closely with the organization’s interns, who engage in educational material about wellness, mental health, and social equity by attending seminars, workshops, and volunteer events such as local food distributions.

“We entrust our interns as the wise leaders they are […] and work to expose them to any learning opportunity possible within our mental health and resiliency scope,” said Maekele.

Though the application period for the second semester is closed, it will reopen for the summer session in the spring. She encourages Enloe students interested in learning more about race equity, mental health, and bettering themselves and the broader community to apply, emphasizing the importance of the Resiliency Collaborative’s internship program in shaping empowered students.

Maekele describes the benefit she sees in the interns as they go throughout the program.

“I am hoping students walk away with knowing what self-care looks like for them specifically, not just general ideas they can learn online. I hope that students walk away with lifelong friends with people that they learned how to be vulnerable with and grew together,” said Maekele. “I really hope that students walk away feeling confident in knowing themselves, their strengths.”