Fresh Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose.

Since I am an English major and all, I guess I will reveal a nerdy fun fact about myself:  I jot down inspiring quotes and ideas in the back of my notebooks, just so I could savor them a little longer.  *WARNING – Please be aware that the words of wisdom you’ll share with me might end up permanently inked inside of one of these notebooks.  With that in mind, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite entries from the past few weeks.  It just so happens that this idea was lended to me by my mentor/professor, Father Brennan, and his insight will serve as a new-found motto for my summer internship at Bravo Group.


During an early morning conversation, Father Brennan, (An openly gay priest who doubles as a professor of the Inside-Out experience- a service-learning class that takes you behind the walls of a maximum security prison, one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken at Saint Joe’s. I know a lot to take in, right?),  artfully crafted a potent piece of advice, “Find an experience that will excite you enough for you to jump out of bed in the morning and you’ll be fine.  The same experience still has your mind buzzing with excitement before you go to sleep at the end of your days?  Well, then I’d say you’ve found your calling.”
The impact of this idea has seeped into my day-to-day reflections, driving me forward in discovering my professional life.  More importantly, this concept has brought a fluidity into my life, propelling me forward into world of Bravo Group.
Now, I’ve only had those Oprah Winfrey, “aha” moments a few times in my professional life:
1.) When deciding on which college I was going to attend: Saint Joseph’s University.  
2.) While selecting my courses of study: English, Marketing and Faith-Justice Studies.  
3.) And, when deciding to accept my summer internship at Bravo Group.  
As cheesy as it seems, I look to these moments as times that I answered my “calling,” just as Father Brennan talked about.
By the end of the summer, I hope that I not only answer these calls, but gain much experience and much passion from a fast-paced, ever-changing industry that I hope to enter into after graduation.  I aim to act as a passionate, driven, inquisitive woman moving along a pathway towards better understanding the dynamic world of public relations.  Although, I must admit, at my core, I have acted as a woman who, as the Jesuits say, has been “ruined for life” by this fierce desire to learn.  
If you may flip through my bookshelves or recent history on my laptop, you will surely see a variety of my interests.  However, my favorite source of learning is through the simple act of communication.  My English major has encouraged me to take enjoyment in crafting my ability to ask a lot of questions and tell a lot of stories.  But, if anything, these communication skills have also provided me with an appreciation for honesty.
And so, I will close this hefty introduction by doing just that.  Honestly introducing myself.  Hi, there.  My name is Alyson Bartolomei, but just like my friends and family members, you may certainly call me “Aly”.  
                                           billy and i
                                     Christmas 2013 with my brother, Billy.
I come from one of the oddest sounding towns in the state of Pennsylvania: Forty Fort.  Yes, believe me, I always have the urge to just go ahead and correct it, with saying it is the “Fortieth Fort”.  But, I don’t.  I guess it’s the charm of it all.  With that being said, coming from a small town like Forty Fort, I have been taught to just go into each day with an open mind, willing to learn from any experience.  
I am a big sister of my seven-year old brother, Billy who I can proudly reveal has a similar love for reading as I do.  I always laugh when I reveal to others that I have a year-old Pug named “Whoopie Pie”.  I am apart of the Zeta Iota chapter of the National Honor Fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi (yes, you could call me a frat bro). I also created a Residential Arts Learning Community on Saint Joe’s campus for students who are interested in the visual arts and performing arts and I will be returning as a Resident Assistant for my third year. I keep trying to convince myself that my addiction to coffee is not a problem, but a tool in constructing an overachieving lifestyle.  And what is an avid coffee-lover without a trusty book in hand?  Two of my favorites are The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran and Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle.
                                    aly res life
    A day well spent at the Guggenheim Museum with my Arts RLC residents.
Speaking of Father Boyle, I met him at a leadership conference in California last summer! Besides from being one of my heroes, he is the Director of Homeboy Industries and actively instills human dignity in struggling communities.  His firm belief in kinship and positivity absolutely inspires me to be a better citizen of our country.
alyson So I will leave you at a place from where we started, a quote that has found a way into the  pages of my inspiration notebook, and will continue to push me forward as I continue to  look forward to each day spent at Bravo Group this summer.  Father Gregory Boyle once  said, “There is no force in the world better able to alter anything from its course than  love.”  As I find myself working behind a Bravo desk on a Tuesday morning, I stop to think  of where I came from and where I will be going.  I certainly have taken steps towards a  course that was not necessarily laid out for me, or even a part of my original plans for my  college career a few years ago.  And yet, as I wake up each day, I could not be more excited to jump out of bed and continue on this pathway.

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