‘You Are Welcome Here’ at Cabrini University

By Molly Seaman
May 9, 2017

“No matter where you are from or who you are, you are welcome here.”

“One Cabrini Family.”

“No matter how the world changes, no matter where you are from. Whether you are an immigrant or a refugee. Whether you’re a student or a parent, you are welcome here.”

“One Cabrini Family.”

These are the powerful words that open the recent “You Are Welcome Here” video produced by Cabrini University. The message adheres to President Taylor’s promise to the Cabrini Community to “continue to protect all of our students—each and every one,” despite the executive order signed by President Trump this past January.

Cabrini has always been a university that welcomes immigrants, refugees and undocumented students. The university bravely stood by this mission when they took the action of signing a letter from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities promising not to voluntarily identify undocumented students.

The following are profiles on Cabrini students featured in the “You Are Welcome Here” video. We hope you enjoy meeting them.

Photo by Cabrini University

Name: Qixuan Geng/Kiki

Year: Freshman

Major: “Chemistry- I want to be a pharmacist! I actually like chemistry because there is a lot of math in it and I can learn a lot of new things. It is kind of hard for me but still very interesting.”

Country of Origin: China

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from?: 

“I am from South China. It is a small city, there are a lot of people. The people are nice. Normally we are in big classes [there] but I like how the classes are small here because the professor can focus on everyone. I have a brother and sister who are in China. My brother is in university now and my sister is in high school. We Facetime each other everyday.

What brought you to Cabrini?:

“I was in Maine last year and my teacher knew a friend who works here and they told me about the school. They told me it was a small school and I would like it here and that the environment is nice. So I came here. It is my second year in the United States.”

How are you adjusting to life at Cabrini?:

“I wanted to learn about different cultures. I think the best way to learn different cultures is from school because if I just visit the campus I will only know the different buildings but if I come here to study, I can actually communicate with friends and learn more about America.”

How do you feel about the “You Are Welcome Here” message?:

“I really feel that it is like a family here. The people here are really nice. If you have any problem they will help you. In the video, a lot of people were using different languages to say ‘you are welcome here’ and ‘we are a family’ so that is really comfortable when people say that. I really like the video.”

Favorite American Food: “Steak!”

Hobbies: “I like going to the King of Prussia Mall and getting bubble tea with my friends”

Favorite Spot on Campus: “The Caf because I was in there with my friends a lot and it is really fun.”

Advice: First, come to class everyday. Don’t be lazy because if you go to class and listen to the professor, you will find out it is easier than being lazy somewhere. Do the homework. That is really helpful. If you have any questions you are able to go to the tutor’s or professor’s office hours to ask them questions. I have done that a lot and that is really helpful.”

Photo by Cabrini University

Name: Girum Bekele

Year: First year graduate student

Major: “Studying for a Masters in Leadership.”

Country of Origin: Ethiopia

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from?:

I am from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a country located in the Horn of Africa. The country has over 85 different tribes and each of them have their own language, values, traditional foods, cloths and activities. I have two sisters and two brothers. Since my parents lived out of the country, I never had the chance to see and know them physically. Because of that, I was raised by my siblings and I would say my siblings are the most precious things that God has given me in my life. Besides school and family, I spent my childhood in one of my favorite Catholic churches (Saint Francis of Assisi). As the church was close to my home, going there and participating in some church activities was pleasant and it shaped my life positively. Today, the church community, priests, cardinals, and nun’s played a big role and I am very thankful for that. Thus far, I have obtained a diploma in marketing management and a bachelor degree in computer engineering. I have also some international certifications from Microsoft and Cisco.”

What brought you to Cabrini?:

“When I was back at home, I volunteered at the MSCs’ [Cabrini sisters]project for seven years and one of the nun’s, Terezinha Merandi, recommended me to come here and study. That is how I heard about Cabrini. I came here to study and advance my professional life. Currently I am under a full scholarship program and I am excited about that.”

How are you adjusting to life at Cabrini?:

“From the moment I stepped onto the Cabrini University campus, I knew I was on the right spot to advance my professional life. Absolutely, I was not wrong, Cabrini is superb. I found the community very welcoming and I am thrilled to be part of this community. All of the students and faculty members are very approachable. They are always happy to help me in every possible way and I am grateful for that. I believe the rest of my time will be a blessing here.”

How do you feel about the “You Are Welcome Here” message?:

“The idea was really interesting and helpful for the university development. I believe it will serve as a bridge to bring more international students.”

Favorite American Food: “Apple Pie”

Hobbies: “Traveling is a hobby of mine. I have visited more than eight countries. I believe the traveling experience is eye opening and it helped me to see things and people from different perspectives. Playing basketball, listening to music and reading books are also my hobbies.”

Favorite Spot on Campus: “The Commons”

Advice: “Don’t dwell on the negative things that happened yesterday. Your bright best days are right in front of you. Keep in mind, God has created you with full of talent, victory, success and greatness. So have faith, never give up, keep on track and see you at work. This comes from my favorite bible verse: We Walk by Faith, Not by Sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7.”

Photo by Cabrini University

Name: Aide Cuenca

Year: 2018

Major: Master in science of leadership

Country of Origin: Ecuador

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from?:

“I live in the Coast Region of Ecuador, that has a tropical climate, with temperatures from 70 to 90. I live in Duran city, which is located 40 minutes away from Guayaquil, the biggest city in Ecuador. I grew up in the neighborhood called Arbolito (little tree). Arbolito is still facing some difficulties. However, I love the sense of community I have there. Neighbors take care of each other and share what they have.”

What brought you to Cabrini?:

“Education is an important aspect for my family.  My mom and dad have worked really hard to give us the best opportunities they could afford. Both of them have shown me how important education is. They did not have the opportunity to go to university but they wanted their children to go. After I graduate from university, I want to continue with my professional studies.

I knew about Cabrini from my job in Ecuador. Every year Cabrini sends a group of students through its international immersion trip to Ecuador. I have met students from this University for at least six years. Listening to their experiences at Cabrini and seeing their passion for social justice issues, I thought it was a great university. I have always felt a strong commitment to work with those most in need; a commitment to build a more just society. For that reason, when Father Carl spoke about an opportunity to get my master’s degree I got excited.  I truly identify with the mission Cabrini. Live with purpose and Do something extraordinary are two powerful and inspirational words for me. These phrases remind me that I have to keep improving myself and find ways I can serve and help others. I know it can be hard to make changes in our world but I at least want to try and be someone who advocates social changes and stand for the common good.”

How are you adjusting to life at Cabrini?:

“It is taking its time. The lifestyle and culture are different here in the US. However, to be exposed to this type of experience challenges oneself and always turns out in positive learning. I like the campus and community I have found here. People have made me feel welcome and have made my transition smooth. I have tried to enjoy groups where I can keep working and learning about social justice. Cabrini offers those opportunities with the different student programs and clubs.”

How do you feel about the “You Are Welcome Here” message?:

“I think it is great to know that Cabrini is a university that is open to diversity and wants to be exposed to it. Personally, it makes me feel I am not alone here and I have a family here. It feels like Cabrini is a community that takes care of every member.”

Favorite American Food: “Well, it is hard to answer this. I wonder if pizza, hamburger, hot dog are American food. I don’t think I really know what American food is yet. However, I have enjoyed some dishes I have tried here in the USA. One of them is Pad Thai. If apple pie counts as American food, I loved it!”

Hobbies: “I love to dance, play the guitar and travel.”

Favorite Spot on Campus: “Chapel”

Advice:  “Go out of your comfort zone, be vulnerable, learn from your experiences, and do the most amazing act, Live! Life takes on is more meaningful when it is deeply lived with every encounter with another human being and you seek to serve others!”

Photo by Cabrini University

Name: Nasir Ransom

Year: Junior

Major: Digital communication and social media major

Country of Origin: United States

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from?:

“I was born in West Philadelphia and I lived there with my mom until I was a year old. My mom made the  decision to move to San Francisco where, at the time, both my aunt and uncle lived. We stayed with her for a few months until my mom was able to find a one bedroom apartment for the both of us. From there, I went to kindergarten through elementary school and we moved about four times within the city of San Francisco. Over the summer going into eighth grade, I found that we would be moving back to Philadelphia because my mom had cancer and wanted to be closer to her family just in case anything happened. She also wanted me to get to know my extended family better. It was a pretty hectic time packing and shipping everything to Philadelphia. When we finally moved to Philadelphia, we stayed with my uncle for six months until we found a house.”

What brought you to Cabrini?:

“I first heard about Cabrini through my best friend Rose. When she applied, I applied looking at their communication program.  I thought I would just stay here for the communication program, but I love the size of Cabrini and everything it had to offer. It was close to home, which is what I really wanted and so I just to a chance.”

How are you adjusting to life at Cabrini?:

“I would say I really like it and have grown to really appreciate the campus more for what is has to offer even though it is such a small campus and I think that you can get involved very easily.  I just love the small class sizes and the fact I can get to actually have time to sit down with my professors. I definitely like the relationship that you can build with your professors and as an RA on campus I love being able to see my residents everywhere and talk to them about things that are going on.’

How do you feel about the “You Are Welcome Here” message?:

“I liked that Cabrini had a response to everything that was going on. I feel like most universities would just put out a statement or maybe a video of just the actual president of the college speaking and not really allow students to have their voice in it. I thought that it was very human and it was also inciteful because I didn’t realize that many different cultures were on campus and hearing some of the people speak in their different languages, I have never even heard. It was more eye-opening to me. It made me think.”

Favorite American Food: I am tied between lamb and shrimp alfredo.

Favorite Spot on Campus: The grass behind the mansion.

Advice: To think beyond what Cabrini looks like from the surface and really get involved before making up your mind that there’s nothing to do.


We are one Cabrini family.

Molly Seaman

Managing Editor of the Loquitur at Cabrini University. Colorado Born and Raised. 21 years old with a deep love for people, travel and education.

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