FrancisCorps | Syracuse, NY

To Encourage and To Challenge

By Antonia Ambrose, FC 22

I was passionate about doing a year of service because I wanted to take time to reflect and grow spiritually and emotionally before beginning my graduate education and law career. I also felt strongly that at this point in my life I was called to work at the nonprofit level and prioritize learning and working within public interest law as much as I could while I’m young and have the time and the energy to do so. 

FrancisCorps immediately stood out to me not only in the variety of service placement opportunities, but for its unique commitment to local community. Being raised in Utica, not far from Syracuse, I am very familiar with the unique issues and opportunities within our area and I felt emotionally called to returning and serving my own community. The idea of doing service in a new place or large city was just not as appealing as the opportunity to connect to the social environment I was raised in as a working adult. I knew that FrancisCorps would encourage and challenge this intention through its commitment not only to service within the Syracuse community but in cultivating participation in the Assumption parish community, mentorship within FrancisCorps, and deep relationships with the other volunteers. Once I found FrancisCorps I felt it was a perfect fit and applied. I was so excited to be chosen for FC22, and while the pandemic added a new layer of challenges to the experience, it also made me more committed to my service. With the economic distress the pandemic has brought, working in housing and financial assistance at Catholic Charities Emergency Services has been busy right from the start and brought me a lot of fulfillment and excitement for my work this year. I am so grateful to God for calling me to service this year and to FrancisCorps for welcoming me into this community.  

I am beyond excited about living in community with my fellow FC22 members for a whole year. Living in quarantine with five new people was quite scary for me before I arrived, but it was amazing how quickly we all found a shared passion for our work and the FrancisCorps mission. Quarantine became a great opportunity to grow closer and get to know each other, and I am truly grateful to have built up a support system for each other and to have people to laugh with at the end of a long workday. I am so excited to grow closer to these wonderful women through the year and our retreats. 

Antonia is an Outreach Worker at Downtown Cathedral Emergency and Hospitality Services. Visit our service sites page to learn more about Antonia’s site and others we offer. 

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