By Bennett Hall, Contributor
Hannah Rome, a sophomore at Manhattan College, is someone that radiates positivity. She rarely has a bad day and she strives to be kind to everyone. She is very much a people person, and that combined with her dynamic life is what shaped her to be who she is today.
Rome comes from a multicultural family that lives in Northampton, Mass. Rome is half black from her father’s side, half white from her mother’s side, but often gets mistaken for being from the Dominican Republic.
Both of her biological parents have passed away, but she now has two moms, both white. She also has two sisters, Lily and Sophie, along with more than a few cousins. They all live with their dogs, Nina, a cockapoo, and Nola, a mastiff. Although Rome’s family is about a four and a half hour train ride away, she still sees them often.
Northampton is a quirky town, and she described it as “hippy and earthy crunchy.” She says it is kind of like high school in the way that it is very much a bubble. Everyone knows all the events that go on and word-of-mouth happens pretty quickly.
“It’s very small and everyone knows what goes on,” said Rome. “It’s also very liberal and progressive and we even have a rainbow sidewalk in the center of town.”
Although she liked growing up there, she said it is not a place she would want to spend the rest of her life. She does not know where she plans to move but she is looking to stay close to a big city. Her attraction to city life is what drove her to come to Manhattan College.
“I didn’t really care if I moved specifically to New York City or not,” she said. “Ultimately I just wanted to move to a big city, whether that was Boston or New York, and New York just worked out for me.”
She wanted a small school that was not directly in the city but had easy enough access, and Manhattan College fit all of her criteria. Now that she has attended the school for almost two years now, she does wish it was a little bit bigger so she could meet more people.
One of the things that makes Manhattan College feel most at home for her are the workers in Locke’s Loft, the physical plant crew and many of the various security guards. Rome is a very personable and charismatic person and she has gotten to know almost all of them on a first name basis.
“One of my favorite people that works in Locke’s is Fabio,” Rome said. “They’re all super nice there but Fabio and I have a friendship and sometimes he even makes me omelets. For my birthday Fabio surprised me with a orange bracelet and a pack of blueberries. In return I wrote him a very nice thank you letter and I plan to give him a birthday gift as well.”
Rome has a very busy life on campus. She goes to the gym every morning, and when she doesn’t go to the gym she attends the zumba class on Tuesday nights. She also works at the Multicultural Center in the Kelly Commons multiple days a week. She helps out with events all throughout campus such as trivia nights, hosting cultural bands and setting up dinners.
Working at the Multicultural Center means she works a lot with people from all different walks of life. At her home in Northampton she worked at the local YMCA, which first got her interested in working with people, specifically kids. Later on she worked with a non profit called Project Coach.
“Project Coach was a really cool place,” she said. “It was actually in Springfield which is one of the poorest towns in Massachusetts. The organization helped to mentor and tutor less fortunate kids. They also coached them seasonal sports and gave them that opportunity they may not have gotten without this organization.”
Because of her history with less fortunate individuals she was interested in taking the Rikers Island class at Manhattan College taught by Professor Skotniki.
“The class involves working with inmates ages 18-22 who are about to be sentenced or have their bail set,” described Rome. “Together we take a class on the ethics of criminal justice and after the semester is over they get an acceptance letter to Manhattan College and get to attend the school for free when they are released”.
After graduating Manhattan College Rome does not know what she wants to do. She is still figuring out exactly what she wants to do but she knows she would definitely like to work with less fortunate people.