Resident: Lucy Frank
House: Rogers-Rotary

When I was ten years old, my family packed up and moved from our home in Nova Scotia, Canada all the way to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. While at first it was terrifying, what followed was three years of exciting adventures in a melting pot of cultures from around the world. If possible, it was even more shocking when I moved back to the United States. The level of cultural diversity I had experienced for the past three years was gone, and it was very hard for me to adjust. When I first came to SSF, it was a relief. The girls in my house were incredibly kind, and most of them had exciting backgrounds that I could relate to. Everyone was different, and that diversity was comforting.

My first year at the University of Florida was an exhausting one. I was still living with my family to save money and due to their distance from campus, I had to make the 45 minute bus ride hours before my classes every morning to make it there on time. I was also working 20 hours a week in addition to being a full-time student. While I loved my job, it was definitely taking a toll on my studies.

I first heard about SSF from a friend attending Florida State University. What stood out to me most was not the cost, though she did mention it, it was the welcoming sense of community she described. One of the things she talked about was how she helped to make dinner for her house once a week, and boasted about her newfound cooking skills. The way she described her experience was so nice, and she hadn’t even been there an entire semester! I was surprised and curious about the fact that whenever she came back home to visit, she said that she missed her SSF house.

Recently, I was trying to describe my SSF house to a friend. I talked about the meals we cooked together, the chores we all had to do, the social events we planned and attended, and the wide array of people who lived in the house. My friend listened to my description, thought about it for a moment, and then said “Wow, you’re basically engineering a family.” This is exactly what SSF is all about. While there are several differences between my house and my actual family, the welcoming sense of love that we try to develop in our houses is the same.

I am only in my first semester at the Rogers-Rotary Scholarship House and it has already been an amazing experience, though it has been a pretty big adjustment to live with fifteen other girls. Through SSF, I have been able to feel financially secure, pursue leadership opportunities, learn more about teamwork and cooperation, and make friends – and it’s only been six weeks! The experiences that I have had and will continue to have at SSF will have an impact on the rest of my life, and I am excited to see what they will be!