SJC Brooklyn students kept busy during winter break by picking up hours at their jobs, volunteering in their communities and taking some time to decompress and put in some quality time with friends and family.
From the moment classes let out in December, juniors Andrew Wenzler, Gianna Pizzariella and Vanessa Muñoz, all child study majors, were looking forward to attending a “backyard” mission trip with Sister Marie Mackey, campus ministry director at SJC Brooklyn. Students joined together to do a myriad of community service projects, including volunteering at St. John’s Bread & Life, a Brooklyn-based organization that serves nearly 3,000 meals to New Yorkers in need every day.
Wenzler, Pizzariella and Muñoz — all New York City natives — said they were proud to give back in their community.
“None of us have ever volunteered in a food pantry before,” said Pizzariella, as she reminisced about the mission trip on Wednesday — the first day of classes for the spring semester — with her peers in the student government office. “Sometimes you don’t realize how good you have it until you experience something like this.”
Time to Relax
Other students used the time off to work or spend time with friends and family.
As a group of friends — Taylor Slakman, a sophomore English major; Lindsey Johnson, a sophomore child study major; Sara McLemore, a freshman nursing major; and Ashley Tjan, a sophomore majoring in psychology — enjoyed lunch in the Bear Cave, they agreed that winter break was a relaxing couple of weeks where they caught up with friends without worrying about looming deadlines in their classes.
Slackman added that when she wasn’t hanging out with friends, she was picking up extra hours at her part-time job at a Rockaway bakery.
As for Samantha Rom, a junior majoring in speech communication, winter break was a time for adventure. An avid snowboarder, Rom spent a week at a friend’s house upstate, shredding mountains in Windham and Hunter, New York. She shared stories of exploring the frigid mountains, as she sat in the student lounge with her cousin, Marie-Elise Piccione, a freshman secondary education major, focusing on mathematics.