(WSYR-TV) — Its been more than two weeks since a devastating earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing 47,000 people.

A professor from Central New York is in Turkey right now, trying to help those impacted by the devastation.

Amber Gilewski, a psychology professor at Tompkins Cortland Community College, along with her former student and Turkey native, Emre Kaya, are making it their mission to help those recovering from this horrible tragedy.

Before the earthquake happened, Gilewski already had plans to visit Istanbul for winter break. She has traveled there many times before.

“Then this earthquake happened you know, just over two weeks ago. So then I felt an extra urgency to come and to be supportive in any way that I can,” said Gilewski.

Before leaving for Istanbul, Gilewski was able to raise $1,500 to help with recovery efforts.

“So many people at least that I talked to in my circle in Central New York that I come in contact with everyday seem to have no idea what was happening there. So I think, we are global citizens of the world and as an educator and a college that’s part of our mission is to be global citizens, so trying to educate people I work with, my students, the people in Central New York and in any means I can,” said Gilewski.

Unfortunately, this is her second time visiting Istanbul right after a national tragedy. Gilewski says she was there less than two days after a deadly terrorist attack on Istiklal Street in Istanbul on November 13, 2022.

Gilewski arrived to Istanbul on Tuesday, meeting with some of her friends and former student, Emre Kaya. Kaya, is a native of Istanbul and met Gilewski when she was getting her CELTA certification last semester in Istanbul to teach English to adult learners. Currently, Kaya is in his last year of college at Istanbul University, majoring in Public Administration.

Kaya traveled to the areas impacted by the earthquake in Turkey. He was part of the search and rescue efforts.

“This earthquake is really bad, so very sad,” said Kaya.

Kaya says the earthquake has taken an emotional toll on so many people, including himself.

“I was very upset that my country and all citizens were affected by this disaster,” said Kaya.

A disaster Kaya said he saw first-hand as part of the rescue and recovery efforts.

Gilewski’s trip is coming to an end, however, she says her work is far from over.

Click here for a list of places people can donate to.

Click here to learn about The White Helmets, a volunteer rescue team out of Syria.

Click here to learn about AHBAP, a Turkish NGO that provides shelter, food and medical supplies to those in need.