The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Campus Spotlight

 It was the second semester of Jenna Gorman Stokes’ freshman year and everything seemed to be going well. One warm spring day, she and her friends were playing catch and the boys had warned Jenna that girls could not play for some obscure reason.

“I’ve got it! I’ve got it,” Gorman-Stokes yelled as she stepped back with her glove over her face in order to block out the sun.

All of the sudden, the ball hit the Brooklyn native right in her eye and she spent days with a black eye. This led to an excellent, flowing and spontaneous speech on “Why I Have a Black Eye” the very next day in speech class.

“That’s something I’ll remember for ever,” said Gorman-Stokes with a glimpse of nostalgia in her eyes.

A senior majoring in education, Gorman-Stokes is the co-chair of the School Spirit committee, a member of the President’s Society, The Future Alumni Association, Music Ministry and Campus Ministry.

“I came here because I had always wanted to go to a catholic university,” Gorman-Stokes said.

At a very tender age, Gorman-Stokes had made the decision that she was going to grow in her faith even while earning her college diploma.

“Initially it was my fall back plan, but eventually it became my only plan,” she said.

Teaching has always been in the back of Gorman-Stokes’ mind, but her main love is music. She has been a choir girl as long as she can remember, and she is a proud one in college now.

Gorman-Stokes claims as a co-chair of the School Spirit Committee that the organization has come a long way.

“It is a way to get people involved, and proud of their school,” Gorman-Stokes said “We work with the cheerleaders and organize the student presence at what ever field or stadium the game may be.”

The School Spirit Committee is only a few years old and it is on the rise, every year making more and more students aware of what it means to be part of the Red Storm.

“As a freshman, I looked up to them and I wanted to be like them,” Gorman-Stokes said of School Spirit Committee members.

She always felt that the students in The Presidents Society were esteemed university scholars and she wanted to emulate them. For Gorman-Stokes, it has been an honor to be part of the President’s Society.

“You become the face of the University at events,” she said. “It is an enormous responsibility and commitment yet at the same time, I receive it as a blessing.”

Gorman-Stokes is also part of the Future Alumni Association, an organization that allows for students to do networking within their field, thus enhancing their opportunity to excel in life after college. Most importantly, Gorman-Stokes has been an active part of her faith in her community on the St. John’s Queens campus.

From altar server to lector, she’s done it all. Gorman-Stokes has an extensive and widening history of service to the church, As a resident student, her current church is the St. Thomas Moore church Here, she has served in the music ministry, as a lector, as a minister of Holy Communion, and as an altar server.

Gorman-Stokes enjoys the fact that she can grow at St. John’s as a woman, intellectual, and most of all a Christian.

“I want to start off teaching seventh to twelfth graders, making them think out of the box and encouraging them to be active students as I am today,” she said.

After such a dynamic college life, Gorman-Stokes plans to be just as active in the real world. Eventually she hopes to teach deaf children. As for her Christian service, she plans to continue helping the poor in various ways.

“Give a man a fish and you shall feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you shall feed him for a lifetime.” This is how Gorman-Stokes describes her ministry to the poor, service through instruction and tools that will last people a lifetime.

Gorman-Stokes feels a special sense of duty to help the poor.

“It is very easy to admire a very successful person but not the poor,” she said.”There is something within them that many people miss, beneath the ragged cloths are people just like us except that they seem to be extraordinarily strong in spirit and have an admirable bond with God.”

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