Inspired by their own experiences as prospective students, 250 volunteers will introduce 400 high school seniors to the Hilltop this weekend.
The two-day event is first of three weekends organized by the Georgetown Admissions Ambassadors Program for accepted students. This weekend is for students who have been accepted through early action. GAAP weekends for students accepted through regular decision will be held April 12-13 and April 19-20.
Emma Spicci (MSB ’16), who attended a GAAP weekend last spring, said the warmth and positivity she noticed in Georgetown students when she visited prompted her to join GAAP this year. She will be greeting prospective students and leading tours.
“My own GAAP weekend was what convinced me that Georgetown was the place for me. Every student I met greeted me with a smile and was always willing to provide helpful advice,” Spicci said. “Just as my GAAP weekend persuaded me that I wanted to be part of the Georgetown community, I hope I can convince other future Hoyas to join us as well.”
According to GAAP faculty advisors and admissions officers Rob O’Rourke (COL ’07) and SarahHadjian (COL ’11), nearly 1,200 prospective students attend the weekends in total, approximately 70 percent of whom subsequently decide to attend Georgetown.
“There are so many great aspects about Georgetown it almost sells itself, but it’s our job to coordinate all of those resources and put them all together to make one cohesive weekend to showcase Georgetown,” GAAP Vice President Danny McDonough (SFS ’13) said.
The 13-member GAAP board began planning the weekends last year. Activities will include campus tours, a welcome reception in Gaston Hall, icebreakers, student and parent panels, separate lunches for each school, dorm tours, faculty lectures, a mini-student activities fair and neighborhood tours.
Although GAAP student coordinators work with the admissions office for logistical support, the weekends are entirely student-run.
“We provide logistical support as needed but think it [is] so important for the weekend to reflect the vision of our students, who are so invested in showcasing the best of the Georgetown community,” O’Rourke and Hadjian wrote in an email.
GAAP volunteers do everything from blowing up balloons to sitting on student panels, GAAP President Murphy Kate Delaney (COL ’13) said. Delaney added that volunteers are encouraged to provide participants with genuine reflections on their Georgetown experiences.
“The GAAP volunteers are really giving their honest perspective of Georgetown,” Delaney said. “They’re genuine students who are extremely passionate about the Hilltop”
Student volunteers participate to share their Georgetown experiences with future students.
“I’m the kind of kid who was not 100 percent sure about coming to Georgetown because I just didn’t know a lot about it,” Andrew Lyu (SFS ’16), who will run icebreaker groups and give tours this weekend, said. “The whole idea of a Catholic school scared me and my friends and my parents. The whole vibe at Georgetown was not what I expected, but I love it, and I want to be able to share that with people who are considering Georgetown in the future.”
GAAP publicity captain Paige Johnston (MSB ’16) said she aims to convince prospective students that Georgetown is a good fit for them.
“I want them to have the same feeling that I had that you’re making the right choice by choosing Georgetown,” Johnston said.
Along with organizing GAAP weekends, the GAAP board is responsible for calling accepted students, organizing online chat forums, holding winter receptions and managing the GAAP Facebook group for the incoming class.
Many freshmen who attended GAAP last year said it was what convinced them to commit to the school.
“I think Georgetown did a really good job of presenting the school in a way that you feel like it would be like your home, like you would belong,” Jennifer Da (COL ’16) said.
Meg Franzetti (COL ’16) said that GAAP’s emphasis on Georgetown’s unique location in D.C. was what convinced her.
“They gave this one speech about not going to a liberal arts college in the middle of nowhere. They said that Georgetown’s in the middle of everything, and that’s why you should come,” Meg Franzetti(COL ’16) said. “It was just a lot of high energy, and that’s when I first met some of the people that would be my classmates, and I fell in love with it.”