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Testimonial: Sarah Stanciu, Beloit College

Sarah Stanciu

I have lived in Chicago all my life, but have never lived on the South side of the city. During the Chicago Program, I remember the first time I broke my own stereotype of the South side of Chicago. It was one day when I saw a homeless woman living under the most beautiful bridge reading "The Life of Malcolm X." I went up to her and offered her some groceries I had just picked up for myself. She politely refused and proceeded to offer me a piece of chocolate from her bag as she sat me down on her jacket to read me a quote from her book. It was then I was reminded how people are not a color, a history, a reputation, a race, or a news brief. People are just human, and looking at the mural under the bridge with her, she told me she put her initials on the wall and the date she came there to live. That moment with her lasted just five minutes, but it will stick with me forever. Everyone has a mark in the world; it all depends on where you leave it. She still stays there each time I pass by.

—Sarah Stanciu, psychology and legal studies major

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