The Valley Catholic June 11, 2019 - Page 22

22 June 11, 2019 | The Valley Catholic CATHOLIC SCHOOLS Monarchs Put Community First with Service By Archbishop Mitty High School Staff Archbishop Mitty High School (AMHS) junior Nolan Cheng has gone to the San Jose-based soup kitchen Loaves and Fishes almost every week – sometimes more than once a week – this school year to serve meals to families in need. That in and of itself is remarkable, but what’s even more impressive is Nolan is just one of more than 1,700 Monarchs taking an active role in the community each year. At Archbishop Mitty High School, students are required to complete at least 20 hours of community service, but helping others is so intrinsic to the mission of the school that many Mon- archs go far beyond the requirement in their quests to make their communi- ties better places to live. “At Archbishop Mitty, Christian Service is an extension of who we are,” said AMHS Christian Service Coordinator John Marheineke. “We requi re our st udents to prov ide service to the community as part of their graduation requirement, not as an academic or perfunctory exercise, but rather as a way to cultivate a way of being in the world. We recognize that young people are in a critical and self-focused period of their lives, nec- essarily so as they prepare for their own futures, but we challenge them to shift that focus. That shift helps them, and all of us in our community, to recognize what it means when the Gospel challenges us to create a world in which love comes first.” As Monarchs serve others, many cultivate passions that lead to careers. Senior Maddie Wright plans to be a teacher and has returned to her for- mer elementary school, Resurrection Catholic School, to help teachers and students, logging nearly 1,000 hours since she started high school. Monarch Jiwoo Song, also a senior, served 300 hours just this school year, and shared his love of the arts with groups like the Academy of Music and Arts for Special Education, Mission Skilled Nursing and Subacute Care, and the Saratoga Youth Commission. Jiwoo plans to study nursing in the future, a career that will allow him to continue serving others. These Monarchs – and many oth- ers – put love first when they set aside their own worries and struggles to prioritize those of other people. Sometimes, the work is done lo- cally at hospitals, soup kitchens, and schools in Silicon Valley. Other times, Monarchs travel overseas to work with the hungry, poor, or sick. Regardless of where the work occurs, Monarchs realize a world where love comes first is possible and high school students can help create it. For more information about the school’s Campus Ministry programs, go to Seton School’s ‘Snack Packs’ Serve Clients at Project We Hope in East Palo Alto Many of the students that attend Saint Elizabeth Seton School live in East Palo Alto. They have a keen awareness for the needs in their community, so with a grant awarded by the CRS Rice Bowl, to come with a service project to ‘alleviate the hunger in your com- munity,’ they knew exactly where they could help. Project We Hope, located in East Palo Alto, serves about 55 clients a day to provide emergency overnight shel- ter; two meals daily, hot showers and laundry services. Students chose to support clients by purchasing and packaging healthy nutritious ‘snack packs’ that could be enjoyed by clients as they traveled throughout the day. Working with a fixed budget in mind, the students were tasked with selecting appropriate nutritious snacks, purchasing within budget, packaging for distribution and communicating directly with staff at Project We Hope to share their ideas and get the necessary permis- sions. Each student took on a specific responsibility, several meetings were held to plan all the necessary steps, and together they completed a wonderful community project. The students were definitely tenta- tive when first meeting clients at the center. However, after a short period of time, they enjoyed hearing the stories shared and realized there’s really little Saint Elizabeth Seton School eighth graders serve at Project We Hope in East Palo Alto. to fear. It was a great experience for all. This service project was completed with eighth graders presenting a PowerPoint presentation outlining the project to the entire school at a school assembly. Two testimonials were shared about the project, “It made us feel glad because we were given the chance to spread love and help them with their food supply,” said Marvin Valdez, eighth grader. “God said that we should be gener- ous and give to those who are in need. This project made our relationship with God stronger,” said Joanna Maldonado, eighth grader. We are grateful for the grant from CRS Rice Bowl that gave our students an opportunity to define, coordinate and come up with a concept to alleviate a little hunger in our local community. Making Art from Challenging Conditions SPECIAL DAY – It was a special day for students at Resurrection School in Sunnyvale as they received their First Holy Communion. Saint Francis High School art teach- er Sylvan Adams has been recognized by the Memory Project for taking on the challenge of turning children’s photos into works of art for the past five years. With the help of art teachers and young artists, the Memory Project seeks to create portraits for children around the world who face substantial challenges, such as extreme poverty, violence or family loss. These children live in orphanages, slums and refugee camps and own very few items of personal value. The Memory Project gathers photos of these children and gives them to art teachers who guide their students in creating paintings or drawings from the photos. These works of art are then delivered to the children as special gifts. “We would like to formally recom- mend Sylvan as a teacher based on the expertise, quality and heart that she puts into this important work,” writes Rose Franz, the outreach director of the Memory Project. “She is providing children with gifts to last a lifetime and providing her students with lessons in global caring as well.”