When in Rome, Share Your Story – March 10, 2017

“By listening to each other’s stories and making them our own, we can break down the walls that separate us.” –  REZA ASLAN

This week, we’re delighted to bring you a report from Narrative 4 ambassador Sophia De Vivo, a student at John Cabot University in Rome. Sophia and fellow ambassador Gentian “Genti” Limani have been weaving the story exchange into the culture of their university with inspiring results:

In the beginning of 2016, Gentian and I got the ball rolling for Narrative 4 in some Public Speaking courses at our university. It was a hit.

The exchanges were conducted as an in-class activity and were done over two class periods with roughly 16-20 students in each of the classes. They were remarkable and incredibly diverse.


John Cabot University students from around the world exchanged stories.

The students in the story exchanges came from many different countries, including the United States, Italy, Argentina, Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Germany, Senegal, Ghana, Egypt, Sweden and Mexico.

This semester, Genti and I are working closely with another classmate and one of my migration studies professors to organize an exchange between our University students and refugees from one of the Refugee Centers here in Rome. Genti and I have been trying to make this exchange a reality every since coming to our university!

And, through our student government, we’re organizing a “Night of Narrative 4” for 30 volunteers, both university students and professors to start getting more  “toes wet” in N4 and bring more community into the university. We have over 60 nationalities represented at our university and despite being a very globalized school, we definitely have our divisions among nationalities. We hope to host a “Night of Narrative 4” a few times a semester to improve the communication and cooperation within the university’s community.

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Sophia and a classmate share a moment of fearless hope and radical empathy.

Student government is working on doing a “Challenge/Empathy Day” with our Student Services Office for next semester, and we’ve already talked about Narrative 4 being featured activity of that day, modeled on the work of N4 ambassadors at Fieldston High School in Riverdale, New York, and the American School in Tampico, Mexico.

In terms of future goals, I envision N4 going everywhere in my university, from early-semester Faculty meetings, to Club-Leadership Training Orientation, to even the New-Student Orientation.

We love your vision, Sophia!


More from Narrative 4 around the globe:

3/7/17 – Student Leaders SCHout for Diversity

2/26/17 – Creating One Military and Civilian Family at West Point

2/19/17 – Middle School Scientists Embrace the Story Exchange

2/10/17 – An Intergenerational Story Exchange in Ireland, a National Magazine Award in New York

2/3/17 – Connecting at UConn

1/27/17 – Students in Mexico Open Up About Living with Violence

1/20/17 – Narrative 4 Gun Awareness Documentary Nominated for National Magazine Award

1/13/17 – Narrative 4 Limerick Rings in the New Year with Readings

1/6/17 – Young Journalists Exchange Stories with Locals in Costa Rica