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Isabella ’22: Continuing Service to the Dear Neighbor

“Going to Carondelet was a privilege, and I see how much of a gift it’s been in my life.”

Isabella Verdan and Sister Theresa
Isabella Verdan and Sister Theresa

As a sophomore at Carondelet, Isabella Veran ’22 never could have imagined that the annual Lenten Project to support the organization Get on the Bus would play such an important role in her future career path. Now, nearly four years, later she finds herself falling even deeper in love with advocacy and wanting to work within the criminal justice system to aid reform.

“I truly believe the lessons I learned and passions I discovered during my time at Carondelet led me to continue looking for ways to serve my community,” said Isabella Veran ’22. “The projects I did at Carondelet made me fall in love with advocacy and really started me on the path I find myself on.”

What was planted at Carondelet grew into a love of service and action after graduation. “The fact that I found my passion for service here at Carondelet, I was able to bring that into my life in SLO. I didn’t just leave it behind.”

Isabella now studies Sociology with a concentration on Criminal Justice at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and discovered Restorative Partners, a nonprofit that creates programs at the juvenile hall to create restorative justice and reform. This program was pioneered by Sister Theresa, a Sister of St. Joseph who also started Get on the Bus, which Isabella credits as early inspiration to her drive for social justice reform and advocacy.

It was such a cool moment realizing all the connections between Carondelet, our Lenten Project, my social advocacy project, my volunteer work here at school, my major’s required courses, and the Sisters of St. Joseph,” She said. “I feel as though a part of Carondelet is here with me in San Luis Obispo!”

The mission of serving the dear neighbor without distinction deeply resonates with Isabella. “Serving the dear neighbor without distinction is so important because people who need help are often on the periphery,” she explained. “Carondelet pushed me to be a better version of myself. I learned here that if we want to do something, we can do it. Service projects and opportunities aren’t out of reach.”

As she continues to pursue her undergraduate studies, Isabella is considering a future in law where she can continue to make a difference in the lives of incarcerated people.


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