We make decisions in our life every day. Whether it’s something small like what to eat for breakfast or something on the larger scale like making a difference in people’s lives, we make these decisions to not only benefit ourselves but for everyone we come into contact with. Christina Mistretta, a senior at the Mount, has just made a decision that will change her life (and others’ lives!) for the better. Christina will be traveling across the world to Tanzania, Africa this July. She has accepted a position in the Peace Corps as a secondary education science teacher.
Christina on a service trip in Ecuador
Christina’s life during college has been all about big decisions. Her first was choosing to attend Mount Saint Mary College to study Biology- Adolescent Education. Coming from Brooklyn, NY, Christina was excited for this chapter in her life in an environment she wasn’t used to. She fell in love with the Mount and everything it had to offer her. Once she was here, she wasted no time in getting involved. Christina became an active member in Habitat for Humanity and had a huge role as the president and founder of our Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassadors program. She is also a chair member on the Student Honors Council.
This wasn’t enough for Christina, though. She wanted to do more all around campus, so she decided to apply to be a resident assistant. After receiving word as a freshman that she had been accepted, Christina couldn’t wait to get started. Becoming an RA was a huge decision she had to make and she took it a step further for her senior year by becoming a senior RA (SRA), which is a step above a regular RA. Three years in Res Life has changed Christina’s life. She explained that she has met people that she can call friends for the rest of her life and she has had experiences she hopes to take with her through life.
During her time at the Mount, Christina has discovered a lot about herself. A lot of big decisions were made. One of the biggest ones she faced was what she was studying. After studying biology for two years, Christina had a change of heart. She switched her major to Human Services and couldn’t be happier with her decision. Even though she will be teaching science to the students in Africa, she mentioned “I always knew deep down I was meant to teach, and thanks to the Peace Corps, I will have that opportunity.” Combining her interest in science and her desire to help those in need is why she is making this life decision to move to Africa and help make a difference in the world.
Sitting down with Christina, she talked about her thoughts before she embarks on this journey in July. Moving across the world is nerve-wracking for anyone. She mentioned that she’s most nervous about the communication to her family and friends back home. She said, “It will be an adjustment and I will figure out how to keep communication lines open. It will just look a bit different than text messages.” With some nervousness also comes great excitement. “Serving in Africa is a dream I have had since I was in elementary school, and now that dream is finally coming true,” she said about her excitement for the journey. Being knowledgeable in today’s society is a key aspect to have, and Christina is excited to give the people of Africa that opportunity. “I want to empower them and help them improve their lives for the future.”
The Mount has really helped Christina make this decision. She is going to rely on her knowledge and skills that she has acquired from the classroom and her involvement on campus during her journey. “In Tanzania, I will not have the technological amenities we have at Mount Saint Mary College. Innovation and critical thinking will definitely be involved in coming up with exciting ways to teach the students.” Christina is not going to let anything stop her from giving her students the best education possible.
As Christina is getting ready to move across the world for a journey that she is more than ready for, she wanted to give a special thank you to some of the people who have helped her make this decision. The first is to Roger May, resident director for Guzman Hall and former Campus Ministry assistant director, who has helped her discern what it is she wants in life and helping her keep her faith incorporated in her decisions every step of the way. The next is to Megan Rossi, study abroad coordinator, for helping her with the knowledge on what it is like to be a part of the Peace Corps, helping throughout the whole interview process, and preparing her for the interview. Christina’s final person she wants to thank is to her late grandmother: “Thank you for inspiring my heart for service and to always give what you can to others.”
On behalf of the Mount Saint Mary College community, we want to wish Christina the best of luck on her journey. We know she always holds the Mount close to her heart. Go make the difference in the world and always know the Mount is here for you whenever you need it.
Interested in studying or having a career abroad? Check out opportunities here.