Friday, October 24, 2014

Finding What You Love

Whether you’re into sports, theater, gardening or fashion, you will find what interests you at Fordham. Offering over a hundred clubs and activities for students, Fordham will undoubtedly have something that makes you excited to get involved. Fordham is a close-knit community and getting involved on campus is an irreplaceable way to meet new friends and find people who are interested in the same things as you.

One of the best decisions I made at Fordham was to volunteer for a year as a Jumpstart Corps member. Jumpstart is an organization that helps underprivileged preschoolers prepare for kindergarten by teaching them reading and writing skills. As a corps member, I would get to go into a local preschool in the Bronx twice a week and work with these wonderful four-year olds. Every session we would practice their letters, read a new story, and do fun activities based on the story. I would leave the preschool with a smile on my face every time because of the great kids I was lucky enough to work with. 

All of the awesome kids we got to work with every week!!
What was great about joining Jumpstart was that I was put in a group of six other Corps members from Fordham who would work in the same classroom as I did. Sharing such a unique experience together, we all became close very fast. Not only did Jumpstart help me realize that I want to work with kids in my future, but it also led me to meet so many new friends that enjoy doing the same things as me. There are so many amazing clubs and organizations just like this one at Fordham that you should most definitely take advantage of during your time here!

My Jumpstart team and myself saying goodbye at the end of the year after our last day in the preschool
Blog By: Abby Collins

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spicing Up Midterms Week

Although this week was filled with late night studying and little sleep, I made it a point to do a couple enjoyable activities throughout the week as well.  I always try to keep a steady balance of work and fun throughout my week, so I don't get overly stressed.  On Monday night, I went into Manhattan for dinner with my roommate from last year!  This year, I am a member of Rose Hill Society and have been busy giving tours and working at information sessions and open houses.  I am also the manager of the Womens Volleyball team so those duties keep me very busy too!  Jessica is involved in acapella and theater on campus, so with both of our busy schedules, it is tricky to find time to catch up.  We were both free Monday night, so we went to a delicious Italian restaurant on 74th and Columbus called Pappardella.  There, we got a delicious cheese plate and both got salad afterwards.  

Our delicious cheese platter... yum!
Afterwards, we walked around the city for a bit and reminisced about funny memories we experienced last year. We took the ram van back to campus around 10pm, I studied a little more, and then went to bed. Dinner with Jess was the perfect way to break up my studying and give myself a much needed break. How lucky am I to be so close to NYC that I can go for a spontaneous dinner out on a Monday night?! Although this past week has indeed been stressful, nights like these help me relax and get my mind off the workload.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

GO! and Set the World on Fire

The Global Outreach program here at Fordham gives students the opportunity to go on cultural immersion and service trips during winter, spring, and summer break.  These trips are based around the four pillars of community, simple living, social justice, and spirituality.  The projects take place in approximately thirty locations, including both domestic and international destinations.  Students have traveled throughout the United States as well as countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe.  Each trip involves partnering with a different organization, working to support them in their efforts.  Last spring break, I spent the week with my GO! Waynesburg team helping with Habitat for Humanity in Greene County, PA.

My team on a hike in Waynesburg
Our main project was working on a house that was being renovated for a local family.  We worked on both the interior and exterior of the home, from painting walls to using power tools on the deck outside.  Working with this organization, we really got to learn about its mission of ensuring adequate and affordable housing for everyone.  One day we also helped transport roof shingles from a construction site to the Habitat for Humanity warehouse.  In addition to manual labor, the trip was also an immersion experience.  One woman whose house was built by a past Fordham team had us over for dinner one night.  It was so awesome to see the finished product of a past trip and realize the difference we can make.

Starting to prime the walls

We were housed at a Methodist church, and the community welcomed us with open arms.  One night they came over to host a dinner party for us, and they even invited us to a fish fry in the neighborhood.  Meeting so many members of the community really made us feel at home in this rural environment, so different from what we are used to at Fordham.  Embracing this different setting, we visited the Lippencott Alpaca Farm and learned all about the animals.  We also spent a day in Pittsburgh, exploring the Carnegie Science Center and the surrounding area.  My Global Outreach trip was such an eye opening experience, and I truly recommend all Fordham students to do one during their time here!

Feeding alpacas at the Lippencott Farm