This post is written by Angelica Corridoni, the Pennsylvania Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America. Angelica attended events with Rock for Life the past three weekends and I asked her to share a recent experience she had with us.
Over the past few weekends, I had the opportunity to exhibit with Rock for Life at Christian youth conferences with students ranging from middle school all the way to college. It was a humbling, unforgettable experience that reminded me just how blessed I am to not only be working for SFLA, but to be a part of the Pro-Life Generation!
One of the coolest parts of these kinds of conferences is that I’m looking at future pro-life leaders and I have the opportunity to influence them.
While I got to share the mission of Students for Life of America with dozens of middle and high schoolers at the Pursue Christian Teen Conference (PCTC) in Harrisburg, PA, one conversation in particular really stood out and exemplifies why we do what we do.
Three young girls approached our table and curiously inspected the information cards we had on display.
I casually asked them what I asked most of the students who came by: “Hello! Are any of you girls familiar with Students for Life of America?”
Without acknowledging my question, one of the girls quickly grabbed our Pregnant on Campus Initiative card and with a surprised expression on her face, she looked up from the information she was reading and explained, “I had no idea you guys actually help the mothers…I thought it was only about the babies.”
Her friend immediately grabbed the card from her hand and expressed the same puzzled appearance, almost as if they discovered a hidden secret.
I quickly began to explain, “Yes of course! The preborn and their mothers are both victims when it comes to abortion. We are here not just for the preborn babies, but for the women as well. They need our help now more than ever, especially when they are being targeted by the abortion industry.”
The young girls stood there in amazement and, as their eyes lit up with excitement, they asked a million questions.
“So, can we help these pregnant moms too? Can SFLA come to our high school and tell other girls about this? We know so many girls that could use this information!”
Their excitement was contagious and I couldn’t help myself from grinning ear-to-ear as they yearned for more information. After explaining the work that Pregnant on Campus does for young mothers, they politely asked, “Are you able to come sit with us for a little? We want to know so much more about the pro-life movement.”
My heart jumped for joy! I followed them over to a set of carpet-covered stairs. I looked at their young, passionate faces and simply said “I’m all yours. Shoot away with your questions.”
They began speaking all at once, and when they noticed the enthusiasm they all shared, they quickly let out a joyful giggle. One of the girls explained that she knew a young girl who was just a sophomore in high school when she found out she was pregnant. She asked me what I would have told her and I explained that I’d want the girl to know that she wasn’t alone, that I would be there to help her in whatever she needed. Every life is a magnificent blessing and I would assure her that although she may be feeling some very difficult emotions, it wasn’t the end of the world and this isn’t the end of her life, but the beginning of another little life growing inside her.
One of the girls commented, “That’s so true! And there is always the option of adoption!” Another girl exclaimed, “Yes! My cousin was adopted!” The other friend noted, “I know so many couples that want to adopt too, my aunt especially!”
I smiled at all of them and explained, “See, you girls are already sharing ideas like natural pro-life leaders!” They laughed and said, “We want to tell girls our age that it’s going to be fine. There are three girls at our high school that are pregnant, and I don’t even think anyone congratulated them on carrying another human life inside of them.”
After talking for another twenty minutes, and answering their questions about certain scenarios, they caught themselves talking about wanting to create a group and become pro-life activists. I told them that they should share their many gifts and talents, and reach out to the young men and women at their school. I handed them three activism kits which explained how to create a group, and I assured them that I will be with them every step of the way.
Before walking back to the table to give them more resources, one of the girls grabbed my arm as she lost the joyful look on her face.
“We didn’t want to tell you this, but before having this conversation with you, we considered ourselves pro-choice. I didn’t know anything about the pro-life movement and I just assumed you only cared for the babies in the womb.”
I smiled at her and said, “I would have still sat with you and answered all your questions, even if I knew you were pro-choice. That doesn’t make a difference.”
She replied, “I know that now…and we wanted you to know that you changed our minds completely. I consider myself pro-life now.” Her other friend smiled and nodded at me. “I feel like a new world has been revealed to me. I want to do what you do; I want to educate other students and explain that we care about both the preborn and their mothers!”
We exchanged contact info and they each gave me a hug goodbye.
“Thank you so much, I wish I could talk to you all day about this. Is that okay if we call you sometime? I definitely will have more questions soon!”
I gave them my cell number and made sure they understood that I was there for them every hour of every day. They took as much information as they could carry and I sent them off with a friendly goodbye. I was on cloud nine.
I slowly walked back over to my table and stared at the group of students talking with my coworkers.
“I cannot believe I have this job, a job that allows me to educate students about the beauty of the pro-life movement. I cannot believe a simple conversation I had with three girls changed the minds of two students who were pro-choice.”
My head was filled with so many thoughts as I tried to come back down to reality. I found myself speechless, which is extremely rare, as Erik (Rock for Life’s Director), asked, “You were gone for a while, what did you talk about with them?”
I didn’t know how to explain what just happened. They only words I could come up with were “two students were pro-choice…and now they want to start pro-life groups. They changed their mind!”
Erik smiled as he read the stunned look on my face, understanding the many emotions I was feeling at once. As I began to immerse myself back into conversation with more students I couldn’t help but think, “This really is the Pro-Life Generation!”