(Photo courtesy of Annalisa Piccinini)
What brought you to Regis University?
When it was time for me to apply to colleges, my brother’s friends, who went to Regis, told me to apply. The next thing I knew I was on my way to a Discover Regis Weekend and I knew that Regis was the place for me. Everyone that I spoke with only said great things about the school, professors, and students. I loved the campus, and I met great people. I never imagined that I would leave my home in California and move to Colorado, but it has been such an incredible four years, and coming to Regis was one of the best decisions I have made. Everyone here makes you want to succeed and be the best version of yourself possible, and I think that that is what sets Regis apart from other universities.
Tell us about your position in Student Activities. How long have you been working there? What positions have you had? Etc.
I have been working in the Office of Student Activities since my freshman year. I started as an Office Assistant, I was the Assistant Director of Weekend Programming, and now I am the Walker’s Pub Communications Coordinator and a Bartender. Student Activities is such a fun office to work in as there are so many things that go on and the entire staff is full of great people. There is always something going on in the office, so there is never a dull moment.
A couple of summers ago you traveled to Africa, tell us about this experience and how did you get the opportunity to go there?
Last summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Hout Bay, South Africa, with the organization One Heart Source. A family friend had gone on a volunteer trip through OHS the summer before, and when she told me about it, I applied and ended up getting accepted. It was the most amazing experience I could have ever had! I was there for a month and throughout that month, myself, along with about 40 other volunteers, worked at a school teaching students from 3rd-8th-grade math and literacy. The students all lived in the township, Imizamo Yethu, they speak both English and Xhosa, (which I got to learn a little), and their school was about a 20-minute walk from their homes. I had the privilege of teaching Iviwe, Siyanda, and Khanisile, three amazing 4th graders every day. They taught me so much about myself, and they validated for me that I did want to become a teacher. On the days where there wasn’t any school, we were taken on trips to learn more about South African culture and history. I was able to go to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was in prison for 18 years), District 6 (a residential area where all of its residents were forcibly removed during the Apartheid in the 70s), and clime both Lion’s Head Mountain and the famous Table Mountain. I was so lucky to have had gone on this trip. I would recommend this organization to anyone. I met incredible people, made wonderful memories, learned a lot, and taught the most remarkable students.
What is your major? Why did you decide that was what you wanted to study?
I am studying Elementary Education. I chose to study education because I have always loved working with elementary aged students. As a teacher, you are responsible for the futures of so many children, and it is really up to you to share their thoughts and minds so they can turn into smart, empathetic, and genuine adults. My mom is an elementary school teacher, and her stories inspire me to be the best educator I can be. It is entertaining talking with her about how my lesson plans are going or if a topic is worth teaching because she has had so many years of experience. I think the world can be changed through education and teachers have the power to influence the world’s future leaders. I cannot wait for the day that I have my classroom.
What is your plan after graduation?
I have been thinking a lot about going to graduate school and getting my masters in education/administration. With a master’s degree, I would be eligible to become a school principal, which is another thing I have thought about, after some years of being a teacher. If I do not go to graduate school right away, I plan on getting my first job in a school and teach!
What is your favorite Jesuit Value? Why?
My favorite Jesuit Value is Women and Men with and for Others. Service is something that I have always appreciated. My parents have always taught my siblings and me the importance of giving back. I have been so fortunate in my life, and the best way to use my talents and what I have been given is to share them with others. Service is something that brings out the best in people, and it is also something that is good for the soul. It can be so many different things, and there are options for everyone. I think the Fr. Woody Program at Regis is the best example of this Jesuit Value. They provide so many choices and opportunities to give back, and they do work all around Denver, and I have been lucky to have worked with them during my time at Regis.
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