Leaving home but not alone

Five Sacred Heart seniors will attend the same college as their sibling in the fall.


Natalie Dosmond '21

Five seniors will attend college with their sibling in the fall.

As members of the Sacred Heart Greenwich Class of 2021 prepare to begin their college journeys in the fall, some will not be leaving all of their family, and will instead attend the same college as their sibling.  Seniors Caroline Guza, Jacey Heffernan, Giastina Morano, Shay Newman, and Peyton Steinthal will all embark on a new path at their respective colleges in the fall, with a sibling by their side. 

In August, Jacey will join her brother, Mr. Cole Heffernan, at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.  Jacey first became interested in the University after visiting her brother several times and seeing how much he enjoyed his experience.  As a result, she decided that she also wanted to attend St. Lawrence. 

“Over the years, Cole and I have gotten very close,” Jacey said.  “When I watched him go through the college process two years ago, I got to see him grow interested in St. Lawrence.  Once I visited a few times, it felt very natural and normal being at St. Lawrence with him because of the welcoming community.  Cole has always been very inclusive of me and has wanted me to love the school as much as he does.”

As Jacey has not been to the same school as her brother since middle school, she is looking forward to experiencing the college environment with him.  Beyond this, having one of her older brothers at college with her eases the transition from high school to college. 

Jacey Heffernan ’21 will join her older brother, Mr. Cole Heffernan, at St. Lawrence University in the fall.  Jacey Heffernan ’21

“Transitioning into a college environment would usually be very intimidating, but having Cole as an outside source gives me a sense of comfort and ease,” Jacey said.  “I know he is just a few minutes away to get lunch and is able to answer any questions I have now or will in the future.  I can’t wait to experience all the St. Lawrence traditions with him.”

Caroline will attend the University of Richmond in the fall as a Computer Science major.  Her older sister, Ms. Stephanie Guza ‘20, just finished her freshman year at the University.  Caroline and Ms. Guza are both Sacred Heart lifers, so this past year was the only school year the sisters had ever spent apart.  Upon visiting the Richmond campus with her sister, Caroline loved the school’s atmosphere and campus.  This prompted her decision to choose to attend Richmond in the fall, joining her sister for the next three years.

It will be helpful to go to the same college as Stephanie as she can help me to meet new people and also show me around in the beginning when everything is still new,” Caroline said.  “I’m looking forward to being able to see Stephanie sometimes on campus and in an academic setting, and I’m happy that we can be at the same school again.”

At Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, Giastina will attend the same school as her sister, Ms. Gianna Morano ’18, after three years spent apart.  When she first visited the school when her sister was a junior, Giastina also loved the school and saw it as the perfect fit for her.  Ms. Morano’s fondness for the school and her experience further prompted Giastina’s desire to also attend Northeastern.  Additionally, Northeastern’s study abroad and cooperative education (co-op) programs that her sister took part in made the school even more appealing to Giastina.

Above all, Giastina is looking forward to having the ability to spend more time with her sister over the next year.  Since Ms. Morano graduated from Sacred Heart, they have only been able to see each other for holidays or short periods in the summer, and the proximity will allow them to reconnect.

“Having my sister at the same college as me will help ease the transition from high school as she is a piece of home that I have away from home,” Giastina said.  “She is my best friend and it is very comforting to know that she is near me even if it is only for one more year.  She will ease the feelings of being homesick as I know I can always hang out with her and ask her for guidance.  I’m just looking forward to spending more time with her again as well as her introducing me to the culture over there. I’m glad that I get to start a new chapter of my life with her by my side in Boston.”

Peyton will attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in the fall.  Specifically, she will be in the School of Foreign Service (SFS), majoring in International Politics.  Her older sister, Ms. Daisy Steinthal ’19, is also a student in SFS at Georgetown.  Peyton chose Georgetown due to its campus culture and strong academics, and views her sister living so close to her in a new city as an added plus.  She looks forward to maintaining a close relationship with her sister in a different environment, while also having someone she sees as a role model by her side for her first two years of college.

“I am sure that entering my freshman year, it is going to be super helpful and valuable to have my sister on campus to help me adapt to new teachers and academic standards, as well as the campus culture,” Peyton said.  “Since we are studying at the same school, I know I will go to her for course recommendations, to proofread my papers, or even grab breakfast before classes.  I am so lucky to have someone who I see as a rode model with me for my first two years, and I will continue to rely on her as I already do now.”

Peyton Steinthal ’21, pictured with her siblings Mr. TJ Steinthal and Ms. Daisy Steinthal ’19, will attend Georgetown University in the fall, where her sister is currently studying.  Courtesy of Peyton Steinthal ’21

Although Shay will not be joining an older sibling at college, she will attend Georgetown University in the fall alongside her twin brother, Conor Newman.  As she has been at Sacred Heart since third grade, Shay has not been to school with her brother in almost ten years.  She viewed the prospect of going to college with a sibling as a positive, especially as both she and Conor liked similar aspects of Georgetown, such as its sense of community and location.  Additionally, Shay will be a student in the College, while her brother will be in the McDonough School of Business, so although they will cross paths, they will be taking different classes over the next four years.

“In truth, going into the college process, I thought that was a strong chance that Conor and I could end up at the same college,” Shay said.  ” We will be able to have our own experiences, but will also always have each other.  Having Conor with me at college will be a nice way to have a little bit of home with me: a familiar face.”

Shay looks forward to continuing the unique twin bond she has with her brother during their college experience.

“As twins, Conor and I have a very special bond,” Shay said.  “We have our own lives but are also very connected.  At home, we do our own things, but also hang out together, so I am expecting college to be a similar experience.   It is comforting to know that I will always have him to lean on when needed.  In all, the unique experience of going to college with a sibling and the memories we will form in the next four years excites me greatly.”

Featured Image by Natalie Dosmond ’21