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The Spiritual Leader

News Story

Twice-elected President of the Christian Fellowship at Pace Seneca Forch ’19 isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty—or his suit dusty, given what happened on his first day interning for Proskauer Rose LLP.

Seneca Forch ’19 is a political science major with dreams of one day pursuing a law degree. Originally, though, he had dreams of transferring to Harvard or Columbia. “I didn’t choose Pace,” Forch explained to us. “Pace chose me, and gave me one of the best adventures I’ve ever had.”

When Forch began his first year at Pace, the Political Science department was undergoing some major changes. Peace and justice studies was being offered as a minor for the first time (which he is currently studying), and a number of classes in human rights and international affairs began to pop up, too. “The best part was that it was extremely hands-on,” Forch continued. “How often are you able to receive 1:1 mentorship from Nobel Peace Prize winners, and attend high-level UN events for service-learning?”

He also attributed much of his success—and the reason why he stayed at Pace—to joining the Christian Fellowship at Pace (CFP). “It gave me structure as I transitioned from a high school mindset to a college mindset,” he said. Forch is now the organization’s twice-elected president. “I’ve come to realize that people who hang around CFP never leave the same way they came—there is always a level of personal growth, and I find that astounding.”

Last year, Forch spearheaded Pace’s first-ever “Coffee with Your Community” series. He invited leaders of Pace’s student organizations to sit down with President Marvin Krislov and other top administrators for a dynamic discussion. “It helped us understand one another, and helped the University to grow on a unified platform,” he said, adding that CFP members often repeat the phrase, “‘To whom much is given, much is required.’” Wise words.

Forch named a number of influential leaders in world history as his inspiration: Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Anwar Sadat, Kwame Nkrumah, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., just to name a few. “What strikes me is that many of these leaders understood not just the physical component of humanity for change, but also the importance of spiritual grounding. I want to be like that: a man of world diplomacy being spiritually grounded.”

Recently, Forch followed in their footsteps all the way to the 2018 Geneva International Model UN conference, where he participated with a number of other students. “We were the only delegation from the US. In many ways, we were not just ambassadors for our assigned countries, but [also] for the US.”

He told us that one of the most surprising things about the conference was that while UN ambassadors and representatives work very hard to make the world a better place, they also have to take time out to recharge. Burnout is a very real thing for everyone—even human rights activists. Forch said, “I remember representing the Republic of Slovenia in the Human Rights Council. Coming up with a resolution to address the outlined issues created a high-stress environment. In order to be effective and keep our minds fresh, we had to balance work and time to enjoy life and take in the country we were in.”

Currently, Forch is interning at Proskauer Rose LLP, an international law firm that got a little...dusty on his first day. He and his fellow interns were tasked with re-organizing old client files dating all the way back to the 1970s. And Forch was wearing a suit. “I hadn’t gotten the ‘business semi-casual attire for interns’ memo. You can imagine how I looked at the end of that day.”

He’s since completed a variety of tasks on the job, and continue to remind himself of an important saying: “‘Despise not the days of humble beginnings.’ Working in a prestigious workplace like Proskauer as a college student, the focus is not where you start; you just have to start somewhere, and work your way up, absorbing every lesson along the way.” We can’t wait to see where Forch goes next!

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