By Emma Stratton, Student Writer
Name: Rachael Hammond
Major: Spanish with a Human Development and Family Science minor
Hometown: Marathon, NY
What has your Messiah experience been like thus far?
Expensive…umm, it’s been really, really good. I have especially loved all of the different opportunities I have had on campus and just through Messiah. I had an internship at Paxton Ministries in Harrisburg during my sophomore year. I studied abroad the spring semester of my sophomore year too. I could talk for hours about my study abroad experience. My church involvement there, host family, and overall experience in Chile. This is my second year as an RA. I am thankful for the wide array of opportunities I have had because of Messiah and the different relationships that have come with each opportunity.
Do you have a favorite memory?
One of my favorite weekends of my undergrad career was the fall of my freshman year. I was very new to college, some of my friends and I signed up to be a part of the work crew weekend to go to Lake Champion with Young Life. We were all new friends and no one knew each other before. It was an extra special weekend because the first day we got there it was a warm fall day with lots of leaves, sunny, and we were wearing shorts and t-shirts while serving the kids and playing outside. Then the next morning when we woke up, there were 6 inches of snow on the ground and everything was covered so it looked like a winter wonderland. We had gotten two seasons in two days. It was a lot of fun memories, late-night game nights, it was really fun.
What was your specific reason for choosing a combination of Spanish and HDFS?
I came in as a double major with Spanish and Communications. My mom told me I was good at talking so I should learn how to talk for my job. I don’t think she realized Communications is a lot more than that. I always knew I wanted to help people. I figured the more languages I know, the more people I could talk to. So I started learning French just for fun. I have taken four semesters of it. I realized Communications wasn’t as personal as an impact as I wanted which led me to HDFS. I don’t want to say that I wish I came in knowing that I wanted HDFS as a major because I gained a lot from my communication classes that I had, but I think now looking forward I want to work with either the immigrant or refugee population in some capacity. This past summer, I had a job working with an organization in New York where anyone who came into our doors that needed assistance in filing any forms with U.S. citizen and immigration services, I would help them. I got to help with multiple aspects of the immigration process. I even got to help with a citizenship ceremony which was really awesome. I desire to work with the immigration population in some capacity so I can use my Spanish.
What first made you interested in the immigrant population and Spanish language?
I first became interested in the Spanish language during the summer after 8th grade. My church took a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico. It was the murder capital of the world a few years ago, not a vacation destination at all. We worked at an orphanage there and this is where I really fell in love with the language. Since then, I have gone to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic for service trips. I really have a passion for hospitality. Whether that is a smaller setting like opening up my apartment or hospitality through the church. That umbrella term and passion include immigration. I want our nation to be one that is hospitable to those coming in and seeking a safe place to stay and improve their lives and families.
What is one random fact about yourself?
I was the 2016 Central New York Maple Queen. Marathon hosts the Central New York Maple Festival. It is the only time our town has a lot of people in it. It is really awesome to see everyone work together to make this event happen. Our town holds so much pride for it. It is always my favorite weekend of the year. Since I was about 7-years-old, I would go to the Maple pageant the night before the festival and I would watch all of the women up on stage and think not only are they beautiful, but they are articulate, talented and composed. I would think to myself, I want to be the maple queen one day. I participated in the pageant for four years and was never a finalist. Then last year, I won.