Get to Know Me

My name is Emma Traggiai and day to day I go by Emma, plain and simple. I am from Garrettsville, OH where I have lived my entire life. I am not necessarily set on becoming a teacher but I am interested in the field of Early Childhood Education (no higher than 5th grade). I would be willing to teach any subject. I enjoy art and crafts as well as working out. In high school I did a lot of service work which is what I ended up focusing on in my College Application Essay.

College App Essay:

The city smelled. I was surrounded by at least twenty pairs of little, innocent brown eyes looking up at me. I stood stunned, with an expression of “what next?” Mindlessly, I handed each child a bag until there were no children left. Their skin was different. It wasn’t just dark: it was dry, cracked, and cold. My eyes raced for where their parents may be – I only noticed mothers – tired and alone. I repeated this routine. As the last few women received their meal, I searched for an indication of where I was. “Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority,” read a small sign in the corner of the lot. Hours before I had thought to myself, “Going every week, on every Tuesday? How isn’t this a crutch?” In this moment, I understood that generational poverty is an inevitable chain of events, difficult to endure and overcome without support. 

For seventeen years I knew I was to love my neighbor as myself, yet I was stingy. The Labre Ministry, a service opportunity to homeless in the Cleveland area, proved differently to me. The ministry is founded after Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, who because of poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation, was unsuccessful in his attempt at priesthood. He became a pilgrim, traveling from one great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. It is on Tuesday that I am able to fulfill my radical call to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I am able to offer companionship and my smile to the less fortunate. God works through these individuals demonstrating his wisdom. Material wealth is not a separation standard in the eyes of God. There is no lesser deserving individual. All are welcome at the altar, all are worthy. These people have become family, and family isn’t forgotten. 

At first I was scared, the city is loud and busy. Shirts have holes, stains, some even blood. I’ve seen drug deals, fights, panhandling, but I have also seen love. I have also felt what love feels like. Fear is a stumbling block to the acceptance of God’s love. The next week I went back. I felt obligated. Amidst the scurrying brown eyes at CMHA, I had the privilege to meet a little boy named Messiah. I greeted him like any other, “Hi, my name is Emma, what’s yours?” His response was different. As he clung to my legs like a jungle gym, he said, “I know, I remember you from last week.” How could these little words mean so much in an instance? I had a reason to be there. It no longer mattered that I had hours of homework waiting in my backpack, or that I would be up late. This little boy waited all week to see me.  Labre enables me to impact the community. I am now connected to these once called strangers. I have broken a barrier of indifference and am able to understand their lives.

Labre has shown me my vocation- to positively impact lives. When I serve God’s people, I am complete. I have become educated about our world of differences. I believe that I am a good global citizen. I am a willing learner. I have a broader perspective of people. Who they are, where they come from. The sense of mission this ministry provides constantly reminds me of God’s love and nourishment. Fulfillment rests in giving. For it is in giving that we receive. I now check my own privileges, but I too, am dependent upon God’s greatness. My mind and heart have been opened. The Labre Ministry speaks life. I no longer look for artificial happiness. Blessings are all around us. Time and energy is so much more than money. Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether he or she may be worthy.

(End of College App Essay)

This essay is significant to me because it focuses around a life changing experience that altered my perception of poverty.

Typically I am a very outgoing individual although creating meaningful relationships with my peers will encourage me that much more to take intellectual and creative risks in a college classroom.

A formative memory as a student had to have been my 12th grade Theology Class. Ms. Riley, my teacher, was not only educated on the topics discussed in her classroom, but truly valued the relationships she shared with her students and prioritized infiltrating faith into her students’ lives.

Some concerns I have toward the field of education in the United States include:

Uninvolved Parenting

Schools are Closing

Schools are Overcrowded

Downsides to Technology

Technology Encourages Cheating

Lack of Diversity Among Gifted Students

School Spending Stagnant

Old Teacher Training Methods

Lack of Teacher Education Innovation

Students Dislike School

The Stigma that Surrounds High School Dropouts

The Nationwide College-Gender Gap

Education Equity does not Exist

School Security

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