A Leader on Campus, Education Major Helps Others Succeed
For as long as he can recall, Francisco Escobar ’15Ed has enjoyed relating with people from all walks of life. As a high school junior, he established a local chapter of AHANA — a multicultural organization for people of African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American descent — to unite the diverse cultures in his hometown of Sharon, MA.
“I wanted to create a place where people could embrace the different cultures of the neighborhood,” said Escobar.”AHANA gave our community something it desperately needed — a place where people from different backgrounds could connect with one another and share ideas.”
His desire to immerse himself in a diverse community played a significant role in his decision to attend St. John’s University. “I really wanted to come to a place that was more metropolitan than where I grew up,” said Escobar. “I loved the location of St. John’s and the fact that it was close to everything that New York City has to offer.”
Eager to connect with the students and faculty of The School of Education, Escobar attended several events sponsored by the School throughout his freshman year. What he discovered was a tight-knit family unit. “I honestly didn’t know that everyone would be so loving and passionate about what they were doing,” he said. “The upper-class students were so happy that I would be following in their footsteps and that one day people would be following in mine, too. That’s what teaching is all about.”
Today, Escobar is every bit as committed to forging relationships and helping others. He is involved in You Can Make It Better, an anti-bullying organization created by The School of Education. “A big part of what we do is go into local schools and talk to students about bullying,” said Escobar. We explain to students what it is, why it’s not okay to be a bully and why it is just as bad to be a bystander who witnesses bullying and doesn’t do anything to help.”
Escobar is also a member of Phi Iota Alpha, a fraternity that is part of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations. “I pledged because I wanted to have the opportunity to be a member of the Latino community,” said Escobar. “In my youth, I never really had that experience. I also want to help spread the message of Pan-Americanism here at St. John’s.”
While he is still years away from earning his teaching certification, Escobar is clear about which subject he’ll specialize in. “I want to teach high school or middle school math,” he said. “I love that math makes you use problem-solving skills, because in life, you’re always trying to find a solution to obstacles you may face. My favorite part of teaching is when I encounter a student who says he or she can’t do something — I get so excited when I prove to them that they can.”