Romy Stancofski

romy-400pxContributing Writer l  Washington D.C.

Romy was born in Baltimore, Maryland. When she was 2 years old, her family relocated to Delaware to live in a little middle-of-nowhere town on the beach, which she describes as cute and quaint. Unable to deny her love of uncovering new places, Romy says that she wants to travel more than anything but Beirut and Delaware will most likely remain two of her favorite places. There is nothing she finds more comforting than the smell of her mom cooking moudardara.

Her mother and father came to America separately before they met and they both have stories that have influenced Romy dramatically. Her mother grew up in Lebanon during the civil war. She decided to trade 20 years of living in a warzone for a new life. She flew to the United States with nothing but a carry-on and her undergraduate diploma. She settled in DC, found a job and got accepted into a master’s program at American University. Her story taught her the importance of education and Romy greatly admires her resilience and determination.

Having finished undergrad and medical school in Lebanon, her father came to the United States for his residency. Her dad worked so hard in high school that he got a full scholarship for his undergraduate studies, and he did so well in undergrad that he got a full scholarship for medical school as well. It is because of him that she knows the meaning of hard work and what an unwavering attitude can manifest.

One of her most interesting memories was when she was in Lebanon with her mom. They visited two different beaches: a topless nude beach in a major tourist area, as well as a conservative beach in a largely Muslim area, where everyone was dressed modestly, even in the heat of summer. The experience was in no doubt a culture shock but she came to understand that her mother wanted to expose her to different cultures, in order to instill in her a value of tolerance and coexistence.

As a child she wanted to be many things: a poet, Bill Nye, a big-shot journalist, a surgeon. She changed her mind often, but saw herself as versatile. When she found herself getting upset that her abnormal and social psychology courses were cancelled due to snow, it was clear that she could no longer resist the muse that was psychology. She is double majoring in psychology, as well as speech, language, and hearing sciences, at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. Even when we are unable to  help others, and even when we are unsure of what to say, she feels that being able to listen can provide more comfort than we often realize. Anytime she’s stressed out she finds serenity being next to a body of water. It is possible that she was a fish, or a mermaid, in her past life.

“What inspires me the most is surrounding myself with people who have big aspirations for themselves. Being around people who work hard and love what they do makes me that much more excited for the future and motivates me to be the best I can be.”