During her first year at Cabrini, she traveled to Mexico on a foreign study trip. Her second year, it was to Italy for the Renaissance Art and Architecture study-abroad course during spring break. The fall semester of her third year was spent in London.
While Shannon experienced a truly global education, she dreamed of working at the White House. While in London, she applied for an internship through the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminar, and was accepted as an intern with the National Economic Council.
At the White House, Shannon worked with public finance and financial markets special assistants, getting an advanced look at early versions of the first economic stimulus package.
She attended hearings on Capitol Hill and volunteered for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in April 2008. It was in Washington that Shannon saw a new path open for her.
“I took a class called 'Solutions through Non-Violence,'” Santangelo said.
“I learned about the peacemakers of the world, and how the best happiness is service to others. I volunteered at shelters and at inner-city schools. Even though I always liked helping people, I hadn’t had a mindset to use my business skills to serve.”
During her senior year at Cabrini, she was named to the USA Today 2009 All-USA College Academic Honorable Mention Team, which recognizes students for grades, leadership, activities, and how they extend intellectual talents beyond the classroom.
Shannon also was faced with a decision many college students would envy—Harvard or Yale? Though both accepted her, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in arts and religion with a concentration in ethics at Yale University, which offered a full scholarship.
“My entire four years at Cabrini were extraordinary,” Santangelo said. “I was determined to make the most out of my college experience, and take advantage of all the opportunities that were presented to me.
Cabrini showed me how I can use my talents and interests to help not only myself, but others.”
By Dan DiPrinzio