Sophomore Explores All Avenues of Interests

  1. For Francesca Dumont, FCRH ’23, Fordham is a place where she is able to explore every avenue of her interests, while staying true to who she is.

Dumont spends over 13 hours each week working for the Ram Van, the university’s intercampus transportation service run primarily by student workers. There, she is responsible for not only safely transporting a van full of six students (it was previously 14 students before new Covid-19 regulations were enacted) through the oftentimes treacherous New York City streets, but also ensuring that each van is properly working and other drivers are taking the most efficient routes. 

Her position does not come as a surprise, as Dumont has loved driving all her life.

“I started practicing driving with my dad in parking lots right before I turned 15,” she says. “My sister doesn’t drive, though, so I was constantly driving her and myself around”, clearly, she is right at home working for the Ram Van.

Although she is comfortable navigating the hectic streets of Manhattan and the Bronx, there have been a few hiccups during her time as a Ram Van driver. She recalls, “I was accidentally given a van that was out of service, and it began smoking while I was driving a full van of passengers across the Henry Hudson parkway.” However, with support from some of the other passengers, Dumont safely brought everyone back to the Rose Hill campus. Despite these rare bumps in the road, she comments on how rewarding some aspects of her job are, such as watching the sun go down as she sits in traffic, as well as when the leaves of the trees along the Moshulu parkway change colors in the fall.

In addition to working as a Ram Van driver, Dumont was a walk-on for the rowing team her freshman year. Aside from early morning practices and cold winter weather, she enjoys the sport because it allows her to stay healthy and in shape. This year, she’s especially excited that practices are starting at 7:30 a.m. instead of 6, saying, “It’s definitely going to be nice to sleep in a bit more!”

Since she walked onto the sport, she was placed onto the novice team where she trained to eventually join the varsity team. Once on the varsity team, Dumont is excited to be able to participate in rowing competitions.

When she is not driving a Ram Van, attending classes, or at rowing practice, Dumont can be found at the University church’s 11 a.m. Sunday masses with her friends.

“It’s different than going with your family,” she tells me, “it’s more fun with friends because you experience it together.”

One of her most memorable experiences at the church was before Christmas her freshman year when they held a mass called Gaudete.

“At the end, everyone was holding a lit-up candle and singing Christmas songs,” she describes.

She and her friends have also made a tradition out of attending the Sunday masses weekly, saying that after each service they would follow-up with Starbucks and enjoy each being in other’s company.

Friendship and family are key aspects of Dumont’s life, and they’re part of why she chose to attend Fordham. She recalls how her mother grew up in the Bronx.

“We would always pass by Fordham and Arthur Ave,” but she also tells me, “I never imagined being able to come [to Fordham] until the college process began.”

Not only was she able to make her dream come true, but she was also able to stay close to her home in Connecticut and where her mom grew up. Although she is away from her fraternal twin sister who studies nursing at Drexel University, she is still able to visit her and maintain their close bond by calling each other every day. 

Dumont’s weeks may be packed with all sorts of activities, but she never forgets to prioritize that which is most important to her: friends and family.

“I just want to be there for [my friends] like they are for me,” she tells me.