BY ISN STAFF | March 12, 2012
“HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT LEADERS & FACULTY MENTORS CONVERGED at ISN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT”
OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA – More than sixty student leaders and faculty mentors from Jesuit high schools across the country converged on Oceanside, California, for the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s 1st annual High School Leadership Summit from February 17-19, 2012 at the Old Mission San Luis Rey Retreat Center in Oceanside, California. The ISN High School Leadership Summit invited emerging student leaders for social justice to spend a weekend strengthening their capacity to effect positive social change while deepening their understanding of the relationship between faith and justice emphasized in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. In addition, the program included opportunities for school faculty mentors to discuss student leadership for social justice and the Ignatian education pedagogical model.
Students and faculty who attended the Summit represent the following U.S. high schools: Bellarmine Preparatory School (Tacoma), Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, Creighton Preparatory School, Jesuit High School (Sacramento), Loyola High School (Los Angeles), St. Ignatius College Preparatory (San Francisco), Verbum Dei High School, Xavier College Preparatory (Palm Desert), and Xavier High School (New York)
Throughout the weekend, students explored pillars of leadership described in The Student Leadership Challenge, from Ignatian and social-justice based perspectives. They were given the unique opportunity to interact with peers from high schools across the country, actively develop their leadership abilities, address contemporary social justice issues, and examine their calling to be “men and women for others. The weekend also featured a capstone speech from Rev. Greg Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries. Upon return to their campuses, students continue to work with faculty mentors to develop social justice activities and programs that engage their campus community. Each campus group will share their efforts via video conference calls to further the networking element of the summit.
ISN executive director, Christopher Kerr, reflected on the program’s intentions by saying, “ISN is committed to developing emerging leaders for solidarity and justice. The high school students who attended the Summit will bring sparks of passion for justice and desire to be leaders that can be kindled through their time together. The program also offered faculty mentors a unique opportunity to accompany their students through the experience and support their engagement in social justice activities when they return.”
The Summit was led by a diverse team of facilitators that began planning in the fall. The leadership team was comprised of: Adam Baber, a former faculty member at Canisius High School and doctoral candidate at Stanford University; Victor Cancino, S.J., a California Province Jesuit in formation currently teaching at Verbum Dei High School; James Menkhaus, an instructor of religious studies and theology at John Carroll University and doctoral candidate at Duquesne University; and Natalie Terry, a graduate of John Carroll University currently studying at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. Faculty sessions were led by Bill Hobbs, Vice President at the Jesuit Secondary Education Association.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) promotes leadership and advocacy among students, alumni, and other emerging leaders from Jesuit schools, parishes, and ministries by educating its members on social justice issues; by mobilizing a national network to address those issues; and by encouraging a life-long commitment to the “service of faith and the promotion of justice.” ISN is an independent 501c3 non-profit organization. Additional information can be found at: www.ignatiansolidarity.net