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Two countries, two religions: One unbreakable bond

The benefits of mentorship extends to areas removed from the classroom, where staff members provide support and friendship to students

January 8, 2022

Gaile Krause and Rabia Yasi '24 are just one of many examples of the mentorships and camaraderie that develop between Mount students and members of the faculty and staff
Gaile Krause and Rabia Yasi '24 are just one of many examples of the mentorships and camaraderie that develop between Mount students and members of the faculty and staff

Rabia Yasi ’24 is a long way from her homeland of Uganda but was delighted when her job at Campus Ministry became the start of an important mentorship and friendship that exemplifies the trust and community that is a hallmark at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Gaile Krause, assistant director of Campus Ministry, had previously traveled to Uganda, and she and Yasi shared their stories and observations with one another and established a strong bond.

Krause quickly became a trusted advisor and mentor to Yasi on everything from navigating public transport to gaining confidence. A big lesson Yasi had to learn was that she shouldn’t hold back out of a fear of failure. “Gaile Krause encouraged me to be strong and go for things even if they might not work out,” says Yasi. “When I had an interview to join leadership scholars, I told her that I wouldn’t let her know if I didn't get in. It really stuck with me when she said, ‘I want to support you either way.’” That attitude was an unexpected one for Yasi.

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“Rabia is a student with strength, intelligence and passion, and she exhibits what the Sisters of St. Joseph are all about. She may have learned from me but I, in turn, have learned so much from her.”   –Gaile Krause, assistant director, Campus Ministry

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Krause’s support wasn’t just limited to that of cheerleader, either. Last spring, Yasi was preparing to give a presentation, “Paulo Freire’s Take on Education,” discussing the Brazilian educator and philosopher’s advocacy of critical pedagogy, during the academic symposium. Krause’s support went far beyond showing up on the day of the symposium and offering support from the audience. Rather, she worked with Yasi to refine the presentation and offered feedback after the event.

Their emotional bond has also strengthened through sharing information about their religions. “She will often email me during a Muslim event to wish me a happy holiday,” Yasi says. “I really appreciate how she has taken the time to learn about my faith and it’s made me feel more at home.”

Krause believes that the best is yet to come for Yasi and looks forward to her continued growth, ready to help her every step of the way. "Her confidence has expanded over time, and it's such a pleasure to watch."