“I wouldn’t be doing Teach for America if it wasn’t for the political science faculty. They made sure what I was putting forward was my best effort, pushing me to be the best possible advocate.”
Political science major/international relations minor Nick Fortunato ’16 discovered a love for teaching as a Global Smarts mentor. A joint effort between the World Affairs Council and Saint Joseph’s, the global literacy tutoring program pairs SJU undergrads and middle school students from under-resourced and low- to middle-income Philadelphia-area schools. Annually, the mentors provide the fundamental knowledge and skills the students need to participate in the Council’s Jr. Model United Nations Conference.
A native of Denville, New Jersey, Nick says he is more excited than nervous about his upcoming relocation to Memphis, Tennessee, as a Teach for America “corps member.” He’ll be in Memphis for two years, teaching English in a low-income community.
“I knew I wanted to do service after graduation,” he says. Ignatian spirituality, in particular the concept of cura personalis, taught Nick to also pay attention to what was in his heart.
“Everything you’re doing reflects who you are,” he says. “Moving forward, I couldn’t do something that didn’t have meaning, or that didn’t reflect who I am, and St. Joe’s helped me make that discovery.”