Spring 2016 University of San Francisco Service Learners
By Jenna Guerra
Michael may have grown up in South Pasadena, CA, but if he could go anywhere in the world it would be to Greece—especially Mykonos. There he could do one of favorite things: swim. Other favorite activities include listening to music, going to concerts, hiking, and skiing.
Though he wouldn’t describe himself as creative—more logical than creative, he was taken by the atmosphere of AASC and chose to work there over working with Faithful Fools as he had originally planned. Never having had any previous experience with service learning, he looks forward to applying the knowledge he gains on how to be more productive and efficient working in a group.
By Michael Arteaga
Currently a sophomore majoring in accounting with a minor in legal studies, Martha came to USF because she loves the city and feels that the school has a lot to offer. Indeed, she loves the culture of their class: it is really rare that you actually learn the names of everyone in your class, and she really appreciates the fact that they all know each other and hang out together outside of class.
She chose to work with AASC because she really enjoyed their retreat and getting on stage. Though she doesn’t have a favorite type of cuisine, she does love brunch if that counts; her favorite movie is Mean Girls; and if she could go anywhere in the world, it would be to Europe.
By Terrence (Boomer) Hanofee
Madeline is from San Diego, land of laid back surfer vibes and sprawling landscapes—the complete opposite of San Francisco. Being a moody teenager at the time, moving to San Francisco seemed like a great choice precisely because it WASN’T home… And she still stands by that decision.
Her absolute favorite place in San Francisco—and, arguably, the world—is Twin Peaks. She loves going there in the middle of the night and enjoying the silence and tranquility of it all.
Tranquility is not what she is after as a huge music fan, though. If she could attend any concert in any time period, it would be to see the Beatles. Stereotypical, yes, she acknowledges, but they are such a pivotal part of the development of modern music, and their sound is unlike anything else she has ever heard.
Her favorite film in the world is Edward Scissorhands—a huge Tim Burton fan, she loves the satirical representation of suburbia that’s shown in the film.
Although Madeline still hasn’t decided where exactly her life is going, she sees herself possibly staying in SF for a few years after graduation. She’s a business administration major, and simultaneously really interested in entering the world of journalism. She hopes to marry these two interests by entering the marketing world and working on the photography and graphics aspects of marketing campaigns—she’d be able to implement some photojournalism techniques while remaining in a steady position in the modern business world.
Bearing this in mind, academically, she’d love to be able to graduate summa cum laude with competitive grades that will hopefully launch her into the graduate school of her choice. Personally, however, she would love to travel the world, immerse herself in many different cultures, and gain once-in-a-lifetime, real-world experience before ultimately settling down and entering the workforce.
Krikor Der Abrahamian
By Sasha Samoilov
Who is this mystery man? Well, he’s a USF student studying business administration. If that sounds like a story you’ve heard before then read on as this San Francisco native with Armenian roots takes you into his humble home and kind heart.
Krikor Der Abrahamian is not a typical business student: he is a passionate and caring person who sees good in people while focusing on what’s going on in the world, not turning a blind eye to the places in most need. For example, when asked what he would do with unlimited resources, his answer was: give back to the community and “create a free school that teaches tech, history, and politics in every major city to advance the human race.”
Krikor is aware of the missed opportunities that exist in other parts of the world. He hopes to use this awareness to make a difference. His core values stem from his closeness to his family. His biggest aspirations after graduation are focused on building his family’s company and creating an environment where he can “bounce ideas off of his peers” in a collaborative and positive manner. This mindset of sticking together and developing what’s most important, the micro communities and support networks, allows Krikor and those around him to thrive off of each other and succeed together rather than as individuals. In many ways he is an easy-going person, and a complex, pragmatic philosopher at the same time. He can light heartedly tell you how he spent his first paycheck on “gas and a burger from Jeffery’s” or he can dive deep into what makes people successful and what others can learn from analytically questioning their environment and/or superiors. Krikor is in many ways as much a “philosophy student as he is a business student.”
By Martha Cabatic
Jenna loves to travel, scuba dive, go to concerts/music festivals, shop, watch movies (her favorite is (500) Days of Summer), do yoga, and hang out with friends.
She chose to work with AASC because she was really drawn in by their retreat and having to put herself out there in a creative way. She hopes to learn more about their mission, theater production, and how to be a more creative thinker; and looks forward to coming up with something really cool with her group for their curtain presentation.
Terrence (Boomer) Hanofee
By Vida Koswara
Terrence is also known as Boomer. He doesn’t have a preference for either name—people have been calling him Boomer his whole life so he’s used. You may call him whatever you like.
Ever since he can remember, Terrence/Boomer has wanted to ski in Patagonia in the southern tip of South America. Terrence has also long wanted to meet Sir Richard Branson. They would be great friends, he feels, and his private island looks like somewhere he could live. Ideally, he would inevitably convince Sir Richard to let him stay on a section of the island and pay him as a food critic.
This would be a far cry from growing up in Alaska. Sir Richard’s island not being accessible, San Francisco seemed like the most opposite place he could think of. Hence USF, where Terrence is majoring in International Business, a major chosen because he hopes on day to have a job where he gets to travel a lot.
Maybe on his travels, he would get to chase his favorite season, Spring. A favorite because everything is always so fresh and people are energetic, Winter is ending and the days get noticeably longer.
By Madeline Cacho
Vida is from Indonesia, and came to USF because her parents told her San Francisco was a nice city: so she found a school there. Certainly here she can indulge in her favorite foods: noodles—be it ramen, pad see ew (Thai stir fried noodles), or indomie (Indonesian instant noodles).
Her freshman year at USF, she was not able to speak English fluently and had a hard time listening to the American accent, this being her first time in the US. But a few USF classes later, she has started to learn more about American culture, improved her English, and begun creating a network with her fellow students.
Her biggest motivation is to work hard so she can achieve her career goal of becoming a respected and successful business woman. In 10 years, she plans to be working for her grandfather and father in their palm oil companies back in Indonesia.
Vida believes that being hardworking is crucial to achieving one’s goals. Success won’t come to us if we don’t do anything because nothing is free in this world.
By Krikor Der Abrahamian
Corine is an Advertising major with a minor in Business Administration, whose favorite subject in school was History, and who always wanted to live in a city that isn’t too big or overwhelming. San Francisco and USF fit the bill, allowing her to get away from her hometown of Whittier in Los Angeles County without leaving California. (Note: Hocus Pocus was filmed in Whittier.)
Corine may like to stay in California but her travel interests would take her far and wide. Her favorite vacation spot is Maui; if she could create one teleportation pod to anywhere in the world it would be in Barcelona where she studied abroad a year ago, and which she misses every day; and given unlimited resources she would travel all over the world—first stop, Australia! She speaks English and Spanish, and wants to learn French because it’s so pretty.
After graduation she is hoping to get a job at an ad agency in San Francisco, and ideally would eventually like to move to New York City.
Corine is excited to work with Sherri and the AASC team, and hopefully take what she’s learned while volunteering for AASC and use that knowledge in the future. She is hoping to make a difference and most of all, have fun with her fellow classmates.
By Emma Sandrolini
If Brittany could eat anything for the rest of her life it would be popcorn! It is her all-time favorite snack and she can’t have any right now because she has braces on. But, healthy or not, she eagerly anticipates eating a bag a day come July.
As for an all-time favorite TV show or movie? She doesn’t really have a one: there are so many movies she has seen and loved—same with music. Her favorites depend on her mood, and that changes all the time. She is however, currently obsessed with Empire, Once Upon a Time, Grey’s Anatomy, and The Family.
This could be because her largest aspiration is to work for a television network as an executive or producer, managing current content and developing new content.
In what could be considered an even larger aspiration, if Brittany could change one thing about the world we live in, it would be ignorance. She thinks that people make fast and rushed judgements about others based on preconceived notions, and they are afraid of what they do not know or understand. If she could have a different world, she would want one free of ignorance and prejudice.
To rid a visiting friend of ignorance of the city of San Francisco, she would take them to the Trampoline Park, Little Italy near North Beach, Baker Beach, and Papalote’s on Fulton and Masonic. She might also leave them with the best advice ever given her: to be themselves and appreciate who they are.
By Corine Moore
Sasha was born in Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard. From the dazzling lights to the street performers her childhood was centered around adding a bit of something extra to who she was.
Maybe this is why growing up she wanted to be a philosopher or a rocketeer. Both made her contemplate the universe but only one was seen as an actual career: wearing a white uniform and soaring high above the clouds seemed like a great way for Socrates to get onto Forbes 30 on 30.
Short of that, in 10 years she will be in many places: career-wise, she will be on the streets of London following her passion to pursue marketing in Europe; personally, she will be curious and inquisitive trying to learn as much as she can; and spiritually she will still be warmed by a cup of tea, honey, and some biscuits.
Food is a big part of who she is. She loves to indulge her senses in the most diverse and luxurious way, and will always be on the lookout for some great food recommendations. To stimulate her taste buds, she loves to try new foods from a variety of cultures, in many cases being attracted to restaurants that blend two very distinct culture’s dishes to form her favorite type of food–fusion. That’s why she tries to never go to the same place twice.
Sasha’s biggest role model has been her dad because of his tenacity to push through the pitfalls of life, from the fluctuating economic and political state of Soviet Union Russia to moving, working, and living in a country in which he did not know a word of the native language. He is the person that inspires her to be adventurous, professional, and resilient. Her linage owes its success to her father and the strength that lead her family to where they are now.
The African-American Shakespeare Company blends Sasha’s need to stand out with the ability to be part of something greater than herself. AASC stands to make the bold statement that success is not won by the most popular of ideas, it is in reality won by the grit and soul of the people. That Sherri took an idea from nothing and turned it into a company of people just as passionate and head strong as she is, has inspired Sasha to want to work with her and see what she can add to this community of amazing actors. At the end of the day she’s here to make a difference, but likewise to express herself and have fun.
By Jiashu (Josh) Wu
If Emma won a million dollars in the Lottery, she would continue with her degree and invest her money, using some of it to create content for her website and to travel.
That pragmatism is not, however, her favorite characteristic about herself. Rather she likes that she is funny (well, maybe not!) and easy to talk to. It’s easy for her to start up a conversation, and she doesn’t take anything too seriously.
Though conceptually she doesn’t think she can make use of the knowledge she learns in school, the most valuable thing she has learned at USF is to have a good work ethic—which she has had since she was little—and a good attitude. Two things applicable to the work place as well.
Emma likes working in groups of about four people or smaller, especially when everyone is creative and thinking outside of the the box. That last may be why she thinks Elon Musk of Tesla Motors is the best leader in the business world.
She is not sure, however, who the best manager is—though she feels like those two terms, leader and manager, are somewhat synonymous. A manager definitely has to be a leader but a leader doesn’t have to be a manager. A manager needs to understand the needs of the group and how to work with them. However, a leader also has to do that, because you can’t be a good leader if you don’t know the needs of the people under you.
Though she would like to become a leader in the future, it wouldn’t break her heart if she didn’t become the boss. She naturally tends to lead in groups because she knows how to create the best outcome—or at least she thinks she does. She is definitely a problem solver, and really does feel there is always a solution to a problem—a good asset in a manager.
Given the choice of working for Apple, Google, or Microsoft, Emma would choose Google: “they are a great company and their HR is fantastic. I don’t think anyone can do what they do.” She admires how creative they are with everything they do, and, of course, how they are always going outside the box.
Radhika (Rad) Shah
By Allise Witt
19 years old, from Tulare, CA, Radhika’s favorite food is either Dim Sum or her mom’s homemade Indian food. Being Indian has defined her in every way and aspect, from the way she was brought up to how she is and acts now. She is very proud of who she is and of her culture.
A Business Administration major, she chose business to have a solid major for law school. But now she loves it: loves how you have to interact with people; how you can start a business that could possibly change a life—how, with business, you can help people.
That being said, her dream job would actually be scoring movies, because she loves listening to and writing music, as well as how you can control people’s emotions through music.
But business woman or music scorer, in 10 years she would just like to be happy. She doesn’t care what she’s doing or where she is, she just cares that she will be happy.
That may take the shape of a perfect day going skydiving in Spain with her best friend, and ending it either playing soccer or playing the piano by the ocean. She is obsessed with Spain: the culture, the people, the food, everything about it. Which could be why Spanish is one of the five languages she speaks, in addition to Hindi, Ginjarati, Purijabi, English, with some conversational French tossed in. Languages are one of her many interests, along with food, brunch (does that count?), piano, community involvement, and music in general.
By Radhika (Rad) Asit
Luis wanted to be a dentist—he randomly picked that profession because of its stability—then he took an econ course his senior year, and won an award: finance had caught his eye, and he has stuck with it ever since.
Luis grew up everywhere! He was born in SF, spent three years in Mexico on a ranch, then moved back to the Mission, then to Hunter’s Point, then Visitacion Valley. How did it shape him? It gave him different kinds of views of the city and ranch life, different perspectives on human understanding.
Maybe that’s why if he could be any flavor of ice cream, he would be Americone Dream by Stephen Colbert—there’s a little bit of everything: crunchy, caramel AND chocolate! If he could be a superhero, he would be Batman: super strength, really good at driving cars, and you get your own bat symbol!
After USF, Luis plans to get a job in Finance, gain some experience, and then get into venture capitalism. On a personal note, the plan is for a nice car, giving back to the community, and traveling everywhere—but mostly Spain!
By Luis Troncoso
Allise grew up in Malibu, California. Malibu is a small, tight-knit little city where the local residents don’t hesitate to give each other a helping hand. Giving a hand to those who seek it, is one of the things Allise enjoys doing the most. Her hobbies include going to the beach, fashion, and trying new restaurants—her favorite foods are sushi and dim sum.
Allise is currently a student at the University of San Francisco, majoring in international business. Her love of travel and interest in international relations fueled her to pursue a degree in international business. The love of traveling brought her to San Francisco. Getting accepted into the University of San Francisco is a big accomplishment for Allise as she wanted to be on her own, and to live in the beautiful city of San Francisco.
Jiashu (Josh) Wu
By Brittany Roker
Josh’s favorite super hero is Iron Man, his ideal superpower would be to read people’s minds, and he is afraid of spiders and beetles. He likes to read books or watch videos in his free time. The best movie he saw this year was a Chinese movie called Everything is Good, which talks about the Chinese New Year and encourages people to keep and remember the good old traditions and culture. It makes sense then that his favorite place in the world is his hometown because all his family live there.
Coming to America has shaped him significantly, especially his first year here. Life is very different from the life in China, and he needed to learn a myriad of things including how to communicate with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Since then, he has read a variety of English books which are pretty different from Chinese books, and that has changed him a lot. Indeed, one of his favorite parts about being at USF is learning about American Culture.
Josh’s career goals are to become a manager in a global company, or to have his own company given the chance. Nonetheless, because of his cultural background, in 10 to 15 years he sees himself back in his hometown of Ningbo.
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