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Charlie Johnson '26 in her dorm room at Casa Italiana Apartments.

Charlie Johnson '26 in her dorm room at Casa Italiana Apartments.

Humans of Santa Clara: Charlie Johnson ’26

“One of the things that drew me to Santa Clara was its commitment to community service.”

“One of the things that drew me to Santa Clara was its commitment to community service.”

“I’m a person who picks up on vibes—I know, it sounds like such a Gen Z thing. But once I visited Santa Clara, I knew in my heart I was meant to be here. The palm trees, the people—they greet you and give you a hug. During the new student orientation, there were carloads of people, groups of kids driving down the street and cheering at you. You don’t get that anywhere else but Santa Clara. In high school, I studied and lived with a host family in Italy and learned Italian, and now I’m majoring in Italian. During my visit to Santa Clara in April, I met Marie Bertola who teaches Italian here, and when I told her my major, she whipped out a piece of paper so she could set up a Zoom meeting with me. I’ve stayed in touch with her, and she is the most welcoming person I could have asked for. She’s also the reason I’m living in Casa Italiana. One of the things that also drew me to Santa Clara was its commitment to community service, which I want to get involved in. At my high school, I was a student ambassador and helped to start a service club on campus that raises money for the homeless in San Diego. We saw how much it helped, and still does. I talked about that project during a school tour and a panel discussion, and someone later came up to me and said they decided to be a student there because of my talk. I hope I'll have that kind of impact at Santa Clara.”

Undergraduate, Social Justice, Service, CAS
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