Experience Christendom Summer Program counselors Danielle Corcoran and Sylvia Messing are in record-breaking territory. Together, the two of them have welcomed students to each of the college’s one-week summer program sessions for the past three years, helping students get to know the college and sharing their experiences with them. By the end of this summer, they will have worked eighteen separate sessions — a new record, surpassing the previous total of sixteen. Because of their hard work, nearly a thousand souls have been impacted by Christendom’s Catholic education since they started, and have been changed for the better as a result.
Corcoran and Messing both joined the ECSP in the summer of 2015 after finishing their freshman year at the school. At the time, neither expected to be become fixtures of the program for the next three summers. Now, three summers later, they see the experience as just as impactful for them as it was for the students they served.
“At Christendom, I have been able to participate in team sports, the Student Activities Council, study in Rome, and create incredible friendships along the way both in and outside the classroom,” says Corcoran, a native of Northern Illinois. “I’ve loved my time here so much, and I’ve loved being able to share my love for the school with these seniors. These three summers have helped to make me a stronger, more generous person, and I hope the students I’ve served feel the same way.”
Messing, hailing from Michigan, agrees with Corcoran’s assessment. When she’s not in the classroom, Messing has worked as a resident assistant, played on the volleyball team, and served on the events team. She’s done a lot at Christendom, and was grateful for the opportunity to share those experiences with all of the high school seniors.
“Christendom has been a wonderful journey with all kinds of experiences, from work, to play, to prayer,” says Messing. “Serving as a summer program counselor has been a joy and an incredible way to share what I love about life here as a student.”
The two of them have spent long days and nights hiking, singing, dancing, and praying with more than 800 high school seniors over the past three summers. Many of those students have enrolled at Christendom afterwards, with many more enrolling for this coming fall. When asked what made the program so special for them, many had the same answer: Corcoran, Messing, and the other counselors.
“I think what really made Christendom stand out for me was the counselors. All of them were so welcoming that I not only wanted to be like them, but also I wanted to be around people like them for the next four years of my life,” said Lanie Garlock, who attended this year’s ECSP.
The counselors are a large part of why the Experience Christendom Summer Program is the most-popular, well-attended, and highly-ranked pre-college summer program of its kind. Corcoran and Messing, especially, make up a core of why the program is as popular as it is with students today.
“From the first few moments on the campus, Christendom felt special and, despite my initial apprehension, as the days went by I grew to understand why I was meant to attend the ECSP,” concluded Kerry Carney, who also attended this year. “I was thoroughly impressed by the counselors, who were so enthusiastic and beyond happy to be doing what they were doing. I aspire to be like them.”