St. Bonaventure University

Rebecca Schneider's Bona Journey

Transferring to Bona’s has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I can be closer to home in a place that feels like home. I grew up just 10 minutes away from campus. My entire life, I’ve been surrounded by all things Bona’s — from attending basketball games in the Reilly Center to riding my bike around the Allegheny River Trail, I spent my childhood here. Pictured: Rebecca Schneider

Now that I’m here as a student, I couldn’t be happier. I have built connections and friendships with my peers and professors through small class sizes and the many clubs on campus. I have had more career opportunities in the past year and a half at Bona’s than I would have gotten anywhere else.  During my first year at Bona’s, as a sophomore, I joined two clubs: Campus Conservationists and Jandoli Women in Communications. 

Campus Conservationists is for students who are passionate about sustainability. As a group, we strategize other ways the campus could be more sustainable and plan different ways to get students outside. The club is also responsible for the yearly Arbor Day tree planting. 

Jandoli Women in Communications is a group of students, specifically women, who unite to form a bond and empower each other. There have been bonding activities where we all hang out and paint tote bags. We have also had the opportunity to learn about sexism in the workspace while meeting with ESPN producer Megan Cassidy. 

During my first semester at Bona’s, I spent the fall volunteering at Canticle Farm. I spent my mornings working in the office, which is located in the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse. During my time there, I gained invaluable insight into the marketing side of the farm. I also spent a few days on the farm, harvesting kale and a dozen other greens in the greenhouses. 

At the end of my sophomore year, Professor Anne Lee offered me the opportunity to write for TAPinto Greater Olean, a hyper-local news outlet that features reporting by Bona students. I wrote a press release on the African American Center for Cultural Development. Working with Prof. Lee then landed me a job on campus as a student worker in the Office of University Advancement. This job has brought me many new experiences and allowed me to challenge and improve my writing skills. 

Life after Bona’s seems so far away, yet I know it is very close. After earning my degree, I hope to continue writing and spreading awareness about sustainability and the ongoing climate crisis. My dream is to write for National Geographic. I also hope to become a children’s book author. I want to be able to make a difference and have a positive impact. When my time comes, and I, unfortunately, have to leave Bona’s, I will go with some of the best memories and friendships.

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