On Fri., August 18, 44 Saint Anselm students embarked on an eight-day journey to provide for their community and others in need. Having raised $25,000 for nine regional non-profit organizations, these Anselmians began walking the 24th annual Road for Hope.

Road for Hope walkers embracing on campus at the end of their walk

The walkers begin their experience in the spring, training physically and mentally, along with raising over $500 individually. The student leaders were given the tools to successfully work under pressure, listen to others with empathy and strengthen their team. 

Saint Anselm students cheering walkers upon their return to campus

After a send-off from the Knights of Columbus and a bus to Lewiston, Maine, the walkers quickly settled into a routine of footcare, yoga, and walking from eight in the morning until five in the evening. “Each day is dedicated to at least one charity”, said Campus Minister, Antony Abi Awad. Each of the nine charities were introduced to the students prior to raising funds. The walkers formed personal relationships with the organizations, as they met with the charity members throughout the academic year.

The days are spent practicing many traditions, including chants used throughout the walk and the naming of the many blisters developed along the way. Hosted by churches and schools in the evening, the walkers end their days with spiritual reflections and the sharing of emotions amongst one-another. “Road For Hope provides them with a more charitable outlook and pushes them to be in sync with the drive to love and care for others,” said Abi Awad.

Road for Hope walkers in front of campus

“Road for hope is about simplicity and being your most authentic self and being surrounded by a community of love,” said Caroline Kiley ’24, one of the Road For Hope leaders. The lasting bonds formed on these journeys are seen through the many alumni who return to the Hilltop and cheer for the returning walkers. Anselmian Concetta Archambault ‘24 says that she is “just so grateful and blessed to be here” upon her return to the Hilltop.

Road for Hope is led by six students who return to campus early to prepare for the other walkers’ arrival. They provide medical and emotional support for the walkers, making sure that everyone is included. This year, the six student leaders were: Kolby Sirowich ‘24, Concetta Archambault ‘24, Caitlin Sullivan ‘25, Victoria Ackerman ‘24, Caroline Kiley ‘24 and Morgan O’Regan ‘24.

In 1998, Seamus Griesbach started the Road for Hope which has become a beloved college tradition. He and his brother chose to walk from their hometown of Libson, Maine all the way to Manchester to start their freshman year at Saint Anselm College. The two walked 130 miles, and the following year, 30 others joined. Raising money for charities throughout Maine and New Hampshire, their tradition is carried on and heavily anticipated on the Hilltop.

Road for Hope proudly supports the following charities: Relief & Hope Services of Catholic Charities Maine, Community Concepts, Good Shepherd Food Bank, York County Shelter Program, Candia Moore School Drug Awareness Program, SHARE Fund, St. Charles School, Kid's Café, UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center.

To follow the Road for Hope journey visit the Road for Hope Instagram account.