Sydney Snell

Dinner with the Vincentians

This evening, I went to Dinner with the Vincentians! This evening consisted of having conversations with the Vincentians on campus who are either priests or brothers. We had the opportunity to ask them any questions we wanted. My table discussed our favorite places to travel and our favorite stories about Vincent and Louise. Through these conversations, I not only got to know the Vincentians on campus better, but fellow students as well. Through the Vincentian mission we believe that “we form each other”, and it is through these experiences that this belief is lived out. We have the opportunity to get to know others in our community and do not only have typical small talk conversations. The Vincentians make sure that each conversation is meaningful, that everyone leaves knowing something new, and that everyone is well fed! ​


Sydney and her friend
Me and my fellow Meet Me at the Mission team-er, Erin at the Dinner with the Vincentians!


I am a part of the Meet Me at the Mission team which helped sponsor this event. The Meet Me at the Mission team has many events each quarter, which more often than not has free food! This quarter, some of the events are hosted by students who just recently returned from the Vincentian Heritage Tour with me where we had the opportunity to walk in Vincent’s footsteps. These events provide each student who went on the trip with an opportunity to share their Vincentian knowledge with the DePaul community. The dinners with the Vincentians on campus are always a hit because they provide a home cooked meal for everyone to enjoy. 

Vincentian Heritage Tour

sydney outside Versailles



Over spring break, I had the privilege of going to Paris, France through the Vincentian Heritage Tour! This trip occurs every year and is made up of about 18 student leaders who carry out the Vincentian mission in their daily lives at DePaul. I applied to this trip back in the fall, and I was so excited when I found out I was one of the students accepted!

During this trip, our group was able to see many of the very famous Vincentian sites. Some of these sites include Folleville, where the Vincentian mission started, a museum where the Vincent DePaul’s actual cloak is located, the church where Louise had her lumiere moment, and more. We also visited the Palace of Fontainebleau as well as the Palace of Versailles to see the amount of wealth royalty had during the time of Vincent and Louise. Being able to be present in some of the sites Vincent himself visited was such an amazing experience. I loved being able to follow in Vincent’s footsteps for a week, and I also had a wonderful time getting to know many of the student leaders at DePaul. 

Not only did I get to learn a lot more about Vincent and Louise on this trip, but I also had a lot of free time to explore the city of Paris. In my free time I visited the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Bastille neighborhood, ate a lot of crepes, sat by the Seine, took a river boat cruise, and of course, saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night. This trip was my first time to Europe, so I got to experience a new culture as well.

If you have any interest in the Vincentian Heritage Tour, do not be afraid to ask me any questions you may have! I loved every moment of this experience, and I would recommend it highly to anyone. As for the rest of DePaul, I hope you all had a wonderful and safe spring break!  


vicentian heritage tour



Engaging with the Vincentian Mission

One of my favorite things about DePaul is the Vincentian Mission! This year I was elected as the Senator of Mission and Ministry for DePaul’s Student Government Association, and was put on the “Meet Me at the Mission” Team. As a member of the “Meet Me at the Mission” Team, I, along with three other students, am responsible for planning events for the mission and encouraging a good turnout. 

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of planning an alumni event where alumni of DePaul came back for an evening and shared how they continue to carry out the Vincentian mission in their daily lives. Students had the opportunity to ask them about their careers as we all sat around tables and had a meal together. 

This past Monday, the “Meet Me at the Mission” team hosted an event for Mardi Gras at the Vincentian Residence. The events at the Vincentian Residence always begin with a short story about one of the priests, and how they ended up at DePaul University. After hearing the short story, we all go down to the kitchen and eat way too much food. At the Mardi Gras dinner there was potatoes, corn, chicken, salad, chips, and a large assortment of desserts. This event is my favorite of the year not only because of the food, but because of the great conversations I have with the Vincentian priests and fellow DePaul students! This year, the “Meet Me at the Mission” team has had a large increase of turn out at all of our events which is so exciting to me. I love to see students come to events and engage with the Vincentian mission. :)

meet me at the mission event



Let's Talk About Philanthropy!!!

If you do not know already, I am in Alpha Omicron Pi at DePaul. During winter and spring quarter we put on events to raise money for our philanthropies. Our international philanthropy is juvenile arthritis and arthritis research, which is what we had an event for a little over a week ago. The event was called Spike Out Arthritis, which is a volleyball tournament that we put on. All of the sororities and fraternities can sign up a team of six to eight people to compete in the tournament. Both the winning sorority and winning fraternity teams got the prize of money for their philanthropy. 

spike out arthritis tshirt


At the event, everyone in my sorority had various responsibilities. The jobs we were assigned were either score keeper, raffle floater, referee, or team coach. I had the privilege of coaching Chi Omega’s team who lost their first game, but ended up winning their next three games and became the champions of the losers bracket! Go Chi O!

I had so much fun at this event because I got to know some of the lovely ladies of Chi O better, and also got to watch all of the sororities and fraternities get very competitive. Believe it or not, people get really into the tournament each and every year. The event was a big success, and I am excited to be a part of it again for the last time next year. 

alpha omicron pi sisters






From Colombia to Minnesota


Hi everyone! I just want to wish a big welcome back to everyone at DePaul after our six (!!!) week break. This six week break is one of the things that I love the most about DePaul because it allows students to not be worrying about finals over Thanksgiving. DePaul provides countless programs and experiences to students over breaks. These experiences allow students to go on a short-term study abroad trip or a service immersion trip.

Over my break, I had the opportunity to go on a service immersion trip to Bogotá, Colombia with eight other students. On this trip we learned about the issues of the education system, displacement, and armed conflicts. Having the opportunity to hear stories from individuals who have experienced these issues first hand was so amazing, and I am forever grateful for their determination to spread awareness of what is going on in their country. One thing that I take away from this trip is the importance of community. Wherever my group went, we were welcomed with open arms. Despite the language barrier, we were still able to make a connection through laughs and smiles. One day while we were volunteering at a school, one boy in second grade named Oscar was determined to teach me Spanish. He found it hilarious that I did not know what basic things such as ‘cement’ meant in Spanish. While he was teaching me Spanish, I also taught him some words in English as well.

Bogota, Colombia 
Once I returned from this trip, I was lucky enough to spend time with my family and friends in the arguably best state ever, Minnesota. One thing I miss the most going to school in Chicago is nature. While I was home, my mom and I planned a day trip to Duluth, Minnesota. While we were there we hiked through the snow and saw some beautiful sites.

Nature in Minnesota
​I hope everyone had a wonderful break, and I hope everyone has an even more wonderful winter quarter. :) 


Service Immersions

In honor of applications being open for spring break service immersion trips, I thought I should talk about the two trips I have had the opportunity to go on.  During the spring break of my freshman year at DePaul, I went to Bladensburg, Maryland.  During this trip, we went to D.C., as well as Baltimore in Maryland.  The focus of this trip was healthcare, which we learned a lot about when we visited many different sites in D.C..  When we went to Baltimore for a day, we learned about human trafficking, which was an issue I had hardly been exposed to before.  Human trafficking is rarely discussed in the media, so I was very grateful to learn so much about it. 

My second service immersion trip was to Los Angeles, California during my winter break last year.  The focus of this trip was homelessness, and we stayed in the heart of skid row.  This experience is something I will always remember, as well as all of the people I met.  The highlights of the trip for me were sitting with those who were homeless over lunch, and getting to know them.  One man I was talking to said he was so proud of our group for spending our winter break this way, and said he sincerely believes our generation has the power to change the world.  Another highlight of the trip for me was going to a site called Homeboy Industries.  Homeboy Industries helps many individuals who were formerly in gangs or incarcerated.  Their purpose is to help these individuals find a place back in society.  They do this by offering tattoo removals so it is easier for these individuals to get jobs, offering mental health services, workforce development, educational services, and more.  Homeboy Industries also has a bakery as well as Homegirl Cafe, which hires individuals who have come to Homeboy Industries seeking help.  Having these jobs that give them hands-on experience when many other places have turned them down due to their criminal record is a very important step in their road to success.

Both of these trips have allowed me to meet wonderful people at DePaul, as well as all over the United States.  Over winter break I will be going on a service immersion trip to Bogota, Colombia and I am so excited.  I cannot wait to write a blog about it. :)