You Can Be Effective — Antonia Fantasia ('21)
You Can Be Effective — Antonia Fantasia (’21, Major in Marketing)
From the first encounter you have with Antonia Fantasia, it is clear what matters the most to her: making an impact. For some, “making an impact” is often overlooked as a cliché—rarely eliciting meaningful action. But for her, it has been a guiding principle in her life and especially during her time here at Bentley. Like most of those arriving on a college campus for the very first time, Antonia was nervous about coming to Bentley—needless to say, this fear was quickly allayed with her varying involvements across campus. Today, her involvements range from the Women’s Leadership Program, which she selected to be in inaugural class of, to being a senior adviser in Italian Society, to being the outgoing President of Gamma Phi Beta—all while working three on-campus jobs.
“Be patient and what is meant for you will come to you.”
As an incoming freshman, Antonia was handpicked to be in the inaugural class of the Women’s Leadership program, a program that "enables women to develop skills and strategies for self-advocacy and leadership advancement.” The first time she sat down with those who had been chosen for the program as well, she thought “I don’t deserve to be here with all of these women.” And as a freshman she often thought “I don’t feel like I'm a leader,” wondering “when am I going to feel like a leader?” But it wasn’t long before she blossomed into numerous other leadership roles across campus. The effect that she has had in these roles has been significant and will surely impact future Bentley students for years to come—something she once thought unfathomable as a freshman.
With the untimely arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of what Antonia wanted to do this year in her leadership roles has been made difficult or impossible. As a member of the Italian Society, she spearheaded two new events that, unfortunately, were unable to take place this year. However, Antonia is not too focused on the fact that they won’t happen this year, but rather on the fact that they will happen in the future and they will be a lasting contribution of hers to the club. Similarly, she is a member of the Senior Class Cabinet—and many of the initiatives and events she and the other members had planned for this year are being held virtually or not at all. However, as a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee, she is hoping the gift the committee chooses to leave will have a meaningful and continuing effect on Bentley, despite the limitations the pandemic has posed.
“I know I’ve made mistakes, but if I can make people happy then that’s what matters at the end of the day."
Most notably, Antonia is the outgoing President of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority (GPB). Many of her proudest moments during her time at Bentley stem from the role she has played in her sorority—and while she would be the last person to take credit for all the organization has accomplished, it’s clear she was an integral factor in its varying accomplishments. As a member of GPB her sophomore year, the sorority saw only thirteen new members join—-which was worryingly low at the time. However, under Antonia’s watch, GPB’s most recent recruitment saw twenty-eight new members join—a more than twofold increase from just two years ago. Now, as President Antonia says, “How am I the leader of these awesome people?” Adding, “These are most the amazing people I’ve ever met.”
Additionally, Antonia has greatly valued mental health and has worked diligently on numerous mental health initiatives. As President of GPB, she took the unprecedented step of changing the organization’s bylaws to allow for two mental health days for all members—for those struggling with their mental health, or for those who just need the time off from the rigor of their academic schedule and commitment to extracurriculars. Not only does Antonia want to celebrate this as an accomplishment in the moment, but she wants to celebrate this as something that will have a long-lasting effect on the organization—hoping it may lay the groundwork for more initiatives in the future.
“I hope that each thing I’ve done has a long-term, lasting effect on people and the organizations that I’ve been a part of.”
Antonia knows her time here at Bentley is limited—but she knows her effect doesn’t have to be. Even with the onset of the pandemic, which uprooted numerous initiatives and events she planned for her final year at Bentley, she has remained unwavering when it comes to ensuring they will have an impact, even if it’s not this year. Antonia arrived on-campus unsure of whether she could be a leader or not. But now, nearly four years later, she has excelled in numerous leadership roles. Not only has she been impactful already in the roles she has served in, but her accomplishments will have an enduring effect on future Bentley students.