Hanna Malak, Town of Atherton Intern

Raised in San Mateo, Hanna Malak cares deeply about his local community. When Peter Carpenter, the incredibly invigorating civic leader in public safety and disaster preparedness, offered him an ongoing internship with the Town of Atherton, Hanna was ecstatic. The can-do MCSGA Student Body President will work as Administrative Coordinator for Carpenter, who heads the 50-member citizens' group, ADAPT (Atherton Disaster and Preparedness Team). In October, 2010, ADAPT plans to launch a grassroots campaign to prepare the citizens of Atherton in the event of a disaster. In order to involve Atherton residents, schools and businesses, ADAPT has developed a strategic marketing plan.

After returning from the 2010-2011 NAIA/American Red Cross Collegiate Leadership Program in June, Hanna came well-prepared, and readily began visiting local emergency services. Hanna toured the Menlo Park Fire Department's search and rescue center. Menlo Park, Atherton and East Palo Alto share headquarters that would serve as the hub for communications, operations and financing in a disaster, complete with a conference center and individual rooms for each city to activate services.

Hanna has met with civic leaders, local representatives with an objective to stay in touch, be ready, evaluating whether local resources can adequately handle a disaster. With his natural talent for community organizing, plus a strong set of social networking skills, Hanna is extending and coordinating Peter's vision with local groups.

His job involves networking and communication. For example, Hanna will provide regular updates to Sandy Brundage, writer for local publication, The Almanac. He has met with Carol Parker, Menlo Park Fire Department coordinator of the CERT and neighborhood coordinator programs. MPFD reports on a block by block basis so that it can prioritize neighborhood needs in an emergency. Other leaders include Scott Barnum, neighborhood point person in coordinating the ADAPT marketing plan; and Ken Deuker, Homeland Security Coordinator and Outreach for the Palo Alto Police Department, assigned to the City Manager's Office. Peter, Carol, Scott and Ken are the key players who benchmark what's been accomplished, what Atherton and the surrounding cities need to do, and devise a feasible and effective plan with solutions.

Menlo College, with 600-700 people on campus, is a major part of Atherton's population. Along with Menlo's Chief of Security, Jay Naidu, also a member of ADAPT, Hanna will communicate and involve Menlo students in this important community endeavor. Emergency and disaster preparedness is a top priority in the health and safety of the campus. As Hanna enters his junior year, his scope of influence is further expanding as he serves on the Board of Directors for the Northern California American Red Cross. Hanna will graduate in 2012 with a BA in Business Management.