Meet Sarah! {Summer Intern Series}

08 Jun Meet Sarah! {Summer Intern Series}

I come from a deeply rooted Catholic family that follows the religious rules without question. So, in theory, I have always been pro-life without giving the subject much thought.

The first discussion about being pro-life and pro-choice in my family came up during my second year of high school when my nineteen-year-old cousin got pregnant unexpectedly. She was faced with two choices: choosing life or the alternative. She had a similar religious upbringing as I, and so she decided to parent her child who is now my goddaughter.

I was beginning to see the positive impact of choosing life, but fully labeling myself as “pro-life” did not happen until I met one of the other summer interns, Carina Greico. She and I went to a few Loyola Students for Life meetings on Sunday nights. But still, my attendance was irregular and infrequent.

One night, after attending an LSFL meeting which discussed feminism in the pro-life movement, Carina and I came back to my dorm room to further discuss the topic. My roommate and her friend, who were both pro-choice, overheard our discussion and we started to debate. At the end of the night, Carina and I felt uninformed and defeated, so Carina texted our SFLI Campus Mentor, Anna, and scheduled a meeting with her the next day.

At that meeting, Anna was extremely patient answering every single question we had. We went to a pizza place and sat talking about all these issues that came up during our debate. Sitting and debriefing for two hours, Anna helped me gain a better understanding of the beliefs of the pro-life movement.

Though it was a lot of information and very helpful, I still resisted being completely involved in the pro-life movement. I was ignoring the fact that I was nervous about becoming outwardly vocal on such a controversial topic.

At the beginning of my sophomore year of college, I received a text from Carina asking me if I’d consider being LSFL’s 2017 March for Life Coordinator. This sounded like something far outside of my comfort zone because I have never been one to outspokenly voice my opinions. After having another meeting with Anna, I decided that even with 18 credits and 4 different extracurricular activities, this was something I needed to do to stand for life.

Being the March for Life Coordinator inspired me to show up to all of the meetings that fall semester. I gathered together 17 Loyola students to go to Washington, D.C. SFLI and other Illinois-based student groups, which was a huge step up from only 3 students going the previous year.

Stepping up as the March for Life Coordinator helped me see the work and effort it takes to be pro-life and with my success, really inspired me to step up again in the spring by running for Vice President of Loyola Students for Life. With this new role, I continued to go to meetings and gain more knowledge about the pro-life values and beliefs. This again pushed me to step into becoming more educated to join and lead a Small Group.

Over spring break is when Anna encouraged me to apply for the SFLI summer internship in Champaign. After thinking about the internship, I realized that this was something I was feeling called to; this was something I felt I needed.

These opportunities to continue stepping up in leadership kept coming up in my life so finally, I said yes and applied. This internship is not something I had expected to happen because I have always been set on becoming a music therapist. And yet, in knowing the need and having the desire to continue my pro-life leadership skills, I am constantly called to this work focused on life and love.

With this internship, I hope to gain more knowledge about what the pro-life movement embodies. I look forward to my growth over the summer and to use what SFLI has to offer me to become a leading individual!

Sarah Storto is a summer intern with Students for Life of Illinois. She is a junior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in music and social work. Sarah aspires to be a music therapist for individuals with disabilities.