ASC Living Experience Explained


Natalie Nowak, Online Editor

The Alumni Service Corps (ASC) was created five years ago with the intent to create a live in, service-oriented internship for Seattle Preparatory Alumni. Prep Students are familiar with the role of the ASC on campus, in their classes, and at practices, but what many don’t know much about is the living experience.

Seattle Prep has owned the house across the street for over thirty years and utilized it for a variety of things including storage and renting it out to members of the Seattle community. Mr. Meza explained that when researching other Jesuit schools’ alumni service programs, every single one contained a live-in experience, so naturally the house across the street shifted to what it is today—the ASC house.

A common question for the ASC members is about what it is like living with former classmates. The current ASC members—Seth Chism, Helen Johnson, and John Ostrander—each shared how they were not particularly close in high school, so working together was a totally new experience, let alone living with each other. Johnson shared that she felt they were starting from the beginning as she “had no preconceived notions about what either of them would be like. Plus, SO MUCH growing is done in college, none of us resembled anything close to the people we were in high school.”

Ostrander added that, “Living with people is very different than being friends or classmates. It is an intimate experience where you learn a lot about each other… That has been fun to see how much we have in common given our shared experience at Prep despite the fact we might have thought we were different back then.”

Just like any household, each member usually assumes certain roles. In getting a deeper look into life at the ASC house the three ASC members highlighted each other’s roles in the house. Johnson is the primary chef of the house, Ostrander is known as the early riser, and Chism is famous for carrying his speaker around the house and listening to music. While they each assume sperate roles, work at different times and teach different classes throughout the day, one thing they can always count on is wrapping up the night with some quality Grey’s Anatomy binging.

While the three of them are bonded by the service corps, the students they teach, and their obsessions for Grey’s Anatomy and New Girl, they each bring their own unique personalities to the table making the living situation incredibly dynamic. Ostrander shares how, “every relationship has its unique energy” making the three of them feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to live together the past year.

Aside from the opportunity to reconnect with old classmates and build more intimate relationships through work and living, the ASC members share how the convenience of the house is a bonus.

They each shared how in college, when something broke in their dorm or apartment, landlords were not quick to fix it. The Seattle Prep custodial staff have been on standby ready to assess and address any plumping or maintenance issues that arise in the house.

Additionally, the 30 second commute from work is an obvious perk of the job and the house. The ASC members can quickly stop at home in between classes, for lunch, a break, or to grab something they may have left in the morning. This not only saves them time, but also gas money, as Johnson pointed out.

Overall, the ASC members sang high praises of both the house itself and the living experience. The convenience, financial benefits, and intimacy of it makes the year of service at Prep even more amazing. Highly influenced by their experience with the living accommodations, all three ASC members absolutely recommended the ASC program to future Prep alum