Winter 2016-17

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Habit of Giving

Autumn Zubricki ’18, a second-generation Saint Joseph’s College student, plans to be an elementary education teacher. She’s already in the habit of giving back to the College.

By Ann Swardlick

When you grow up in a Saint Joseph’s household, generosity comes naturally. Autumn Zubricki ’18 credits her parents Brendhan and Jo (Corrao) Zubricki, both class of 1990, with teaching her Mercy values long before she became a student at the College.
“My parents always instilled in me the importance of tithing,” she explains. “Even though I’m a student right now, without a full-time job or a set church, I still like to give back in different ways, and kind of mix it up.” Last summer, responding to an email from the College, she donated to Catherine’s Cupboard food pantry. “I hadn’t given anything that month, so I thought that would be an easy way to reach out.”

Growing up in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Autumn traveled with her family to Maine every summer to go camping and make a quick visit to campus. “We grew up knowing and being familiar with the College,” she recalls. “When it came time to apply to college, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go,” she says, “but then I toured Saint Joe’s and I knew this was the school. It’s just beautiful. I’m not a city person. I need to be in nature, to be able to walk down to the lake if I want to.

Autumn entered Saint Joseph’s with a Presidential Scholarship. “The scholarship was a big influence on my decision. I knew I wanted to come here, but ultimately, it came down to financial reasons. So, that was a huge encouragement.”

Autumn and Saint Joseph’s have been a great fit for each other. She played Monks field hockey her first two years, spent a semester studying in Seville, Spain, and plunged wholeheartedly into her major, elementary education with a concentration in special ed. This fall, she began an internship at the Songo Locks School in Naples. “It’s four hours a day, twice a week, so it’s great. I am really getting to know all the students. At the heart of it, I always knew I just wanted to be with, and help, kids.”

Autumn is witness to the generosity of her parents, Brendhan and Jo, who are regular contributors to the College’s Annual Fund. Now, she intends to keep the cycle going. “It’s just instilled in me,” she says. “I know that I’m benefitting from other people giving back and that if I were to stop that cycle, how would that affect the students here? I think we all need something to get started.”

In addition to her Presidential Scholarship, Autumn also received the Bailey Family Scholarship this fall, and she is deeply grateful for the support.

“There are so many great success stories from our College, but sometimes we don’t realize what’s behind that success. It definitely comes from someone else helping out here and there. We all need people guiding us along.”

When she graduates in 2018, and begins her career in education, no doubt Autumn will become one of those Saint Joe’s success stories, thankful for the generosity that helped her get there.