A Class with Diverse Life Experiences
"I love being surrounded by different people ..."
Ali-Jae Nicolai, from New Prague, Minn.—“a small, little town,” she said—wanted a Catholic school because her faith is important to her. She’ll be studying broadcast communications with a minor in politics, and she couldn’t wait to meet new friends. “Minnesota is great,” Nicolai said, “but I love being surrounded by different people.” This will be the most time she’s ever spent away from home, and she’s particularly going to miss her 9- and 7-year-old sisters (as well as her 13-year-old brother).
"I just want to be a part of it, to help make change ..."
Angie Labissiere, from Bordentown City, near Trenton, hasn’t spent much time away from home, either. Raised in a tight-knit Haitian family, she went to Catholic high school her junior and senior years and enjoyed doing service projects. She’ll be studying political science and is interested in international relations. “I want to help countries in need,” she said. “I’d love to work with the U.N. or in the Capitol. I just want to be a part of it, to help make change.” Labissiere plans to go home as often as possible, to check on her 14-year-old sister.
"The Holy Spirit led me to Catholic ..."
Washington, D.C. is one of Michael Perez’s favorite places, said the Salinas, Calif., native. During his visit to Catholic, he went with other students on a service project, to feed the homeless, which stuck with him. Service and his faith are important to Perez; he made most of his close friends in high school through campus ministry. He received a full-ride through the William and Joanne Conway Nursing Scholars Program, but that wasn’t ultimately the deal-maker for him in deciding which school to attend. “In the end,” he said, “I think I have to say the Holy Spirit led me to Catholic.”
"I’m just hoping everything turns out the way I wish ..."
Being separated from family is nothing new for Jaritza Ayala, who grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, outside Chicago. The business major was raised largely by her uncle and grandmother when her mother was deported to Mexico 10 years ago and her father followed. “I’ve been away from my parents for a good long time,” she said. Getting ready to go away to school was as nerve-wracking as it was exciting. Her roommate is also Hispanic, and she’s a little bit relieved by that. “I don’t think I’m expecting anything yet” from college, she said, sounding philosophical. “I’m just hoping everything turns out the way I wish.”