St. Bonaventure University students Haylei John, ’18, and Geoffrey Broadbent, ’19, have plenty in common — both serve on the executive board of the Student Government Association, both work as student ambassadors on campus, both have served as resident assistants and on Model U.N., and, perhaps most strikingly, both are local students.
John hails from Salamanca, N.Y., about 15 minutes down the road from Bonaventure; and Broadbent is an Olean native.
John, a senior international studies and Spanish major, and Broadbent, a junior biology major, don’t define themselves by their majors — the world of Bona’s is their oyster in terms of interests and activities.
John and Broadbent have a unique perspective on attending college close to home — and love to share that perspective with visiting high school students.
Broadbent explained that many prospective students love the atmosphere of the university itself but are unsure if they’re willing to commit to a college in a rural area.
“Being from Olean, I feel I am really able to highlight all the great things about the local area and ease any concerns or misconceptions they had,” Broadbent said.
John added that coming from a nearby town to college didn’t take away from her time at Bonaventure, something she can demonstrate to students she shows around campus.
“I’m able to express my connection to the university, as I did grow up with Bonaventure in a way,” she said.
John noted that the role of the student ambassador isn’t simply to show off the campus, but to create a compelling case for the prospective student to come to Bonaventure.
“I’m able to connect with families about my own experiences here, while connecting with a person who is just starting their own college story,” she said. “Every tour is unique, and I love having a role in personalizing the experience for prospective students.”
The job of the student ambassador has a plethora of rewards, some of which don’t come to fruition until months after a tour has been given.
“The best part about being a student ambassador is having a freshman come up to you in the first couple days of classes and tell you that you are a big part of the reason why they decided to come to Bona’s,” Broadbent said. “As a student ambassador, you always hope that you are providing prospective students with an idea of what it is like to be a student here, but to hear that what you shared with them resonated on such a personal level that they decided to come here is an amazing feeling.”
John and Broadbent both make sure to stay busy on campus. In addition to their many similar activities and clubs, they also pursue several of their own interests. Broadbent, currently a resident assistant and secretary of Student Government Association, also serves as a member of the Medical Emergency Response Team; he’s also a member of the Franciscan Healthcare Professions program, and will be attending George Washington University following his graduation from Bonaventure.
John, a resident assistant in her sophomore and junior years, and now the Executive Board president of Student Government Association, keeps her plate full with several clubs and law school applications. This summer, she’ll be interning for the second year in a row at Columbia University in New York.
“My involvement has opened up many opportunities for me both at Bonaventure and beyond, for which I’ll always be grateful,” John said.
Echoing her sentiment, Broadbent noted that each of the clubs and organizations he has been involved with at Bonaventure have ultimately shaped him as a person.
These are just two examples of the more than 2,000 students exploring a world of possibilities at St. Bonaventure. Giving together in support of today’s students is the goal of the university’s third annual #BonaGivingDay, which launches at 12:01 a.m. on February 8.
All donations made during the 24-hour fundraising event benefit The Bonaventure Fund, which enhances the lives of students by providing scholarship aid and academic support.
For more information and to join in with a gift, visit www.sbu.edu/BonaGivingDay or call Karen Heitzinger at (716) 375-2328.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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