Barista Wants to Transform Culture, One Encounter at a Time

Move over “Humans of New York.” The social media for Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, has started a “Faces of Benedictine College” series, introducing student stories that give hope for the future.

This week, the series featured Isabel Riojas, a junior from Austin, Texas.

“I came to visit Benedictine in the fall of my Junior year, and I was incredibly overwhelmed by the joy and hospitality that is present all over campus,” she said. “I knew based on the joy of the students that Christ is present and moving on Benedictine’s campus & I wanted to experience that for myself.

She has immersed herself in the mission of community, faith in scholarship.

“I love the community that Holy Grounds creates,” she said about her work in a campus coffee shop. “It is a beautiful thing to make coffee for those who are meeting up to build friendships and have deep conversations. I also love being able to build relationships while caffeinating campus.”

She unites faith and scholarship in her theology major, but then goes an extra step, she said.

“This year I am praying with the hospitality of loving and welcoming everyone I meet as Christ. You never know what someone is going through at the moment and how much a simple smile or wave can make their day.”

Riojas sees the value the mission of the college has to the future of her country, too.

“I think that Benedictine empowers its students to be authentically themselves and live their faith unapologetically which transforms culture one encounter at a time.”

Angelica Nelson