ESCAPE: a space for all students to feel included, understood and welcomed

32884888285_2b25c3f6e0_oIn August of last year, when I accepted the position of ESCAPE program director, I was told ESCAPE was unique and this would be the best job I would ever have.

Back then, I might have thought that statement had been infused with a touch of hyperbole. But, now I know it isn’t.

My first year flew by, and today I consider myself blessed to be part of ESCAPE. I have had the opportunity to interact with 368 new students on ESCAPE overnights, work with 45 dedicated student leaders, and share in the insightful, personal stories from 14 faculty and staff members.

Most of all, I am humbled by the students I have met. Students from all walks of life sharing themselves deeply with their fellow Hoyas in order to help others on their own journeys. I am continually surprised by how much fun students have singing songs loudly without a care to how they sound (they always sound amazing).

Recently, while recruiting ESCAPE leaders for next year, I received more than 100 applications from students. I felt a great sense of responsibility. I realized, I have been entrusted with a program that has a 26-year history of helping students connect and find a home at Georgetown.

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ESCAPE lasts for 27 hours and takes place at the Calcagnini Contemplative Center; just one hour away from campus. But, that’s all you need to take a break from the everyday stresses of an academic environment in a bustling city. I am excited to be a part of ESCAPE, continuing to help it grow and ensuring it remains a space for all students to feel included, understood, and welcomed.

I am grateful for my ESCAPE experiences and the gift of having played a part in the giving to others.

Written by Laura Mintel, ESCAPE Program Director.

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