Georgette Asfoura '12
"I had a very formative four years at BC," says Georgie Asfoura. And now, before heading to graduate school, where she plans to earn her master's degree in education, Asfoura is honoring the values emphasized at BC by spending a year at FrancisCorps volunteer.
"I wanted to minister directly to people in need, and I wanted to deepen my understanding of Christianity. I wanted to challenge myself," she explains.
Placed in Syracuse, N.Y., a wholly unfamiliar city to the Akron, Ohio, native, Asfoura shares more than just an apartment with two other women and two men; in order to create the kind of intentional community that is a Franciscan hallmark, the group pools its earnings, shares meals, and prays together daily.
"Our communal living is based on the idea that our actions affect others in very immediate ways. If I spend money, my housemates have less. At the same time, we support each other; I especially appreciate the increased attentiveness to prayer that comes when we share it," Asfoura says.
She is a full–time volunteer at the Dorothy Day House, a shelter for homeless women and their children. Through welcoming shelter guests into the house and helping them access medical care and other services, she has carved out something of a pastoral role.
"I do a lot of defusing of tension. I try to be a calming presence in the house," Asfoura says.
"I often drive women to appointments, job interviews, and the like, and I've come to call that 'car therapy.' Alone in the car, they share so much of themselves; they just want someone to listen to them, really listen."
She says the experience has been an adventure, a challenge, and an inspiration. "I wanted to learn about other people whose experiences have been different from mine, and I have; but I'm learning even more about myself."
What has been the most satisfying moment in your professional life?
I entered into my role at the Dorothy Day House with no formal job description, feeling very unsure of my roles and responsibilities. After a few months I was asked to train a new intern, and I realized that I'm earning trust and carving out a niche for myself.
In your personal life?
Developing relationships with my housemates has been extraordinary. It's unsettling to uproot your life and move in with total strangers in a new city. I have found one like-minded counterpart, in particular, who shares my faith life and similar professional goals—to impact young lives for their betterment—and that has been a great gift.
What is your next goal?
I want to return to school and earn my master's degree in education; I'd like to go into higher education administration.
What is the secret to success?
Conviction. You must be committed to the mission you're pursuing. I can see the impact I'm having in a cause I truly care about.
Why did you decide to attend BC?
I wanted an academically competitive school far from home. I also strongly identified with Jesuit ideals.
What is one thing everyone should do while at BC?
One thing not to do is close the window of opportunity on connecting with people. Don't get too comfortable in your friend group. During senior week, I was still meeting fascinating new people.
What is your fondest BC memory?
During my freshman year, I attended my first college football game. It was an enormous upset against Virginia Tech, and I got to see BC at its finest. Crowds rushed the field, and the excitement was almost visible.
Where is your favorite spot on the Heights?
Devlin—it's not just admissions!. Only a few know the treasure it holds on the fourth floor where art studios are open 24 hours. Especially toward the end of the semester, it's a hotbed of creative fusion.
How have you changed since graduation?
I'm more flexible. I'm willing to give up more of my own desires for the good of the group.
What would you do if you were BC president for a day?
Because the cost of college is so high, I'd try to look at the most efficient possible use of resources.
Where did you live freshman year?
What was your favorite BC class?
Language and Society with Margaret Thomas. I'm a nerd for words, and studying the nuances of communication was fascinating. Also, as a professor, she has an incredible presence; she's so softspoken, but so articulate, and has such an immense intellect.
What was your favorite BC activity?
I was in the Word of Mouth club for all four years, which focuses on the development of leadership and communication skills. It gave me a great base to refine and hone my interpersonal skills.
How much can you sing of the BC fight song?
Wow, this is embarrassing. I guess I'd be able to sing along with the crowd at a game.
What was your favorite meal in the dining hall?
Wraps! If it's wrapped in a tortilla, it's just automatically better.
What was your first job?
I earned my first paycheck back home in Ohio, working part–time at a burger joint called Steak'n Shake—home of the steakburger and the side–by–side milkshake.
How do you relax?
I love to play guitar. It's a great release from a stressful day.
What do you look forward to each day?
Being around people. I'm an extrovert. Relationships add meaning to my life and to the mission I feel I'm here for.
What is something your friends don't know about you?
I tend to idolize young professional women in positions of authority.
Who would play you in the film version of your life?