Sunday, March 16, 2014

Senior Spotlight: Angela Owczarek

I've known FCRH senior Angela Owczarek since we met in Queen's Court our freshman year, and I have been blessed with her friendship for the past four years. Angela is an incredible person -- no one sees the world the way she does, and she has challenged my opinions and beliefs in ways that have helped me grow to be the person I am today. This is one of the best things about Fordham: meeting amazing people who encourage you to be truly yourself.

Angela is one of the special few who I am confident will "go forth and set the world on fire," following the words of St. Ignatius. After reading this thoughtful and eloquent interview with Angela, I'm sure you'll agree!

Year: Senior        
Major: International Political Economy and Theology
Hometown: San Francisco      
Clubs: Global Outreach
Past Internships: Intern as a Youth U.N. Delegate for VIVAT, a human rights focused international NGO, and a Special Initiatives Intern for UNICEF

Why did you decide to apply for JVC?
I decided to apply to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps because I am interested in pursuing full-time service for at least a year after graduation. I am also currently in my eighth year of Jesuit education and have enjoyed the ways in which Jesuit ideals have consistently challenged me to seek greater solidarity with and understanding of the poor and marginalized.

What was the application process like?
The application process was very self-reflective – while I had to send academic transcripts to the program, JVC seems mostly interested in who each applicant is as a whole person. I had to write several essays on my own life, my desire to join the program, what I thought I might bring to the program and to community living, and where I thought the program would help challenge me to grow. Once accepted to the program at large, I ranked several different cities and jobs out of hundreds of possible placements.        

Where did you request to be placed and why?
I requested placements in Detroit, Nashville and New Orleans – I am eager to try living in an entirely new place, but am not quite ready to leave an urban environment.

What excites you most about this opportunity?
So many things – I am interested in continuing to engage in service, which I have had many opportunities to do while at Fordham, but also to live in community with other Jesuit Volunteers and to build an intentional community with them.

How do you feel that your time at Fordham prepared you for life after college?
I think Fordham prepared me for life after college mostly through providing many opportunities for student leadership. While my classes have been very engaging, the administrative and organizational skills I have gained by leading my peers, both in clubs and through my role as an R.A., have already allowed me to feel very calm and confident in the internships I have had, and I think they will serve me well in any job or volunteer position.

What other post-graduate options are you exploring?
I am considering several other similar year-long volunteer programs, but will probably panic and also apply to jobs in the NYC area in the coming month – I will try to not put all my eggs into one basket. For now, I am holding off on graduate school – it’s not something I want to jump into on a whim.

What will you miss most about Fordham?
Probably being in New York City, and the wide range of opportunities (and Mister Softee cones) that has brought me.

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