Reflections from NJSLC 2016: Fellowship and engaging with others


Hoyas hiking Red Rocks on excursion day, NJSLC’16.

Georgetown University is the 2017 host for the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference: Set the World on Fire, July 19 to 23. (Conference details are available online). 

Leading up to this year’s conference, Campus Ministry will be sharing reflections from students who attended the NJSLC last year. In this, our second post in the series, Ally Pfotzer writes about engaging and connecting with others at the NJSLC. 

My experience at the 2016 National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference (NJSLC), held in Denver, was a wonderful mix of service, personal spiritual growth, learning, and bonding with others. There were several moments and key takeaways for me from the conference. For example, the service opportunity, exploring Downtown Denver, plus getting to know the Georgetown staff and the other Hoyas on the trip.

The fellowship of the Jesuit university system was an incredible thing to see and be a part of—it had the glorious feeling of family and connection beyond academics and buildings.

The service day was a fantastic time to get down in the mud on an urban farm and hear about the way the farm creates a fiscally sustainable livelihood in order to support the low-income communities around it. Working in the dirt and seeing the physical fruits of my labor is one of my favorite things to do. I was paired with another Georgetown student I’d never met before and we had a wonderful time working together and with other students from different universities.

The time spent touring Downtown Denver was another great opportunity to bond with the many different people in my group. Our guide from Regis, the host university, was a lot of fun, and really engaged with us as we explored the City. As we walked around Denver, I was able to move and mingle, and really talk and connect with the students and staff on the tour. The Georgetown staff —Jake, Lisa, and Lauren—were friendly, open, authentic, and a great source of support on the trip.

To me, the conference experience provided participants with a safe and open environment so they could engage with others in vulnerable, authentic, and friendly ways. It also allowed us to build personal and group skills, reflect on change, the things we love about Georgetown, and challenged us to take what we learned back to the Hilltop.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend the conference, and I’m especially grateful for being  part of the group that attended NJSLC 2016.

Written by Ally Pfotzer, F’18.

Read the first post in this series by Aaron Bennett.