Gabriella values dialogue both to enact change as well as to build community with her peers. Coming from a small, rural community, Gabriella understands a worldview that may differ from that of the average college student. During high school, Gabriella was very involved in promoting civic engagement among the youth of her hometown and understands the value of training students to recognize and reject polarized thinking early in their education. Gabriella looks forward to complementing her academic pursuits at Wharton with training in fostering healthy dialogues, promoting both individual and community wellness, serving the community, and being an advocate for citizenship and civic engagement. She is eager to engage with students from across all of Penn’s undergraduate schools and hear their viewpoints on a wide array of issues. If she pursues a career in government, Gabriella believes the fellows program will prepare her to better serve her constituents and the larger citizenry by learning to listen and engage in robust discourse.
Her favorite class during her first semester at Penn was a small 16-person seminar during which students discussed topics ranging from campus life, relationships, Greek life, safe spaces, microaggressions, trigger warnings, and a variety of other topics. Outside of class, Gabriella enjoys promoting discussion informally with her friends. She is thoughtful in trying to encourage others to share their true opinions and prevent self-censorship. Gabriella values being an active member of the communities she is a part of and sees dialogue as a mechanism through which we can explore each other’s viewpoints, values, and beliefs to become more considerate, engaged, and responsible citizens.