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Ferrato Sisters Will Graduate With and Without Twin Experiences

May 13, 2014 – Graduating seniors Katie (C’14) and Maggie Ferrato (C’14) say serving and learning in East Africa, the Middle East and Washington, D.C., have largely shaped their experience at Georgetown.

“My four years at Georgetown have given me the opportunity to work abroad, learn from amazing professors, explore D.C. and make the most amazing, talented and gifted friends,” says Maggie, a Georgetown College history major double minoring in environmental studies and justice and peace studies.

The Barrington, Rhode Island, natives combined their love of running with a commitment to service by volunteering with Back on My Feet and implementing environmental education in Kenya.

Balancing Act

The twin sisters have traveled together to the Middle East – Maggie working for a nongovernmental organization, Project Hope, in Palestine and Katie working with a Bedouin tribe in Wadi Rum, Jordan.

This past summer, they received $10,000 from Projects for Peace to help develop and implement an environmental education workshop and two related environmental projects in partnership with the Jesuit Hakimani Centre in Nairobi.

Katie, a government major concentrating on international affairs in Georgetown College, will graduate with a certificate in Arab studies from the School of Foreign Service.

She says traveling abroad and working with your sister can be a balancing act.

“It was difficult at times to balance being a sister and being a coworker [in Kenya],” Katie recalls. “Looking back … there is no one I would have rather done it with.”

Raising the Bar

The twins have spent the past two years working locally with Back on My Feet, a national organization that engages men and women experiencing homelessness in running as a mechanism to build self-esteem.

They have raised money for Back on My Feet multiple times for the National Marathon in the spring and the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall.

Both students also served as tutors for the DC Reads program through Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice, Research, Teaching and Service (CSJ). DC Reads is a tutoring, mentoring and advocacy organization that provides literacy resources to underserved schoolchildren in D.C. Wards 7 and 8. 

“They really both kind of raise the bar at Georgetown in what it means to be a gentle force in the world for social change,” says Andria Wisler, CSJ executive director.

Wisler, who also is an assistant visiting professor of justice and peace studies at Georgetown, had both students in her Intro to Justice and Peace Studies course.

Separate Activities

The sisters also participate in a wide range of activities separately.

Maggie not only spends time volunteering through CSJ, she also spent the past year working there as a front desk administrator, and she received the Suzanne Tarlov Award in recognition for her work there.

“Maggie personally is my go-to, rely-on student, and I appreciate her presence, kind spirit and willingness to give every day,” Wisler says. “This past year, she has been instrumental in CSJ creating a new website and in submitting the university’s application for the White House Community Service Challenge.”

Katie works with Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS) and as a residential assistant in Village C East on campus.

“Her leadership abilities, calm personality and organizational skills make her not only a good campus leader, but an approachable one,” says Ambre Reed, community director for Village C East and Copley Hall at Georgetown. 

Looking Forward

Maggie plans to continue working at CSJ after graduation as an Americorp VISTA worker while Katie will work in the paralegal unit in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

“Right now we are both looking forward to graduation and what the next few years will hold,” says Maggie. “I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to study at Georgetown and be a part of life on the Hilltop.”

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