BY ISN STAFF | March 18, 2014
Over 90 student leaders and faculty mentors from Jesuit high schools across the country gathered for Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Arrupe Leaders Summits in January and February 2014. The Summits, taking place in Los Gatos, CA and Parma, OH 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.
Throughout the three-day program, students explored The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Exemplary Leaders through the lens of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J.’s life. Arrupe, a former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, is known for his strong leadership of the Jesuits during a tumultuous period in global history and a time of great transition for the Catholic Church and the Jesuits. In addition, the program included opportunities for 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 College Preparatory (San Jose, CA), Xavier College Preparatory High School (Palm Desert, CA), Regis Jesuit High School (Denver, CO), St. Ignatius College Preparatory (San Francisco, CA), Verbum Dei High School (Los Angeles, CA), Loyola Academy (Williamette, IL), Loyola School (New York City, NY), Xavier High School (New York City, NY), Boston College High School (Boston, MA), St. Ignatius High School (Cleveland, OH), Walsh Jesuit High School (Cuyahoga Falls, OH), and Fordham Preparatory School (New York City, NY).
Attendees of the Summits expressed the impact of meeting with other students who are committed to social justice and educated in the Jesuit tradition, as well as building their leadership and planning skills. Paul Brunts, student at Regis Jesuit High School shared, “This summit was a time for me to really think about who I am and what I do for my community. I really think that it was a turning point in my high school career. I will carry the things that I learned here throughout my high school career and the rest of my life.” Further, through networking and intentional idea sharing on social justice programming, students returned to their campuses ready to take action. Multiple schools have reported follow-up action planning meetings on their home campuses, and ISN will continue to gather stories of action inspired by the Summit throughout the year.
The Summits were led by a diverse team of facilitators including: Windi Wahlert, Director of Campus Ministry at St. Ignatius Preparatory; Matt Carroll, Resident Minister at University of San Francisco; and Jocelyn Sideco, ISN Board Member and Founder of Contemplatives in Action; Adam Baber, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction at Canisius High School; Jimmy Menkhaus, Theology Professor at Gannon University; and Brenna Davis, Theology Teacher at St. Martin De Porres High School. Christopher Kerr, Executive Director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, led the faculty development sessions for both summits.
The Arrupe Leaders Summit is generously supported by a grant from the Silicon Valley Foundation given on behalf of Dr. Charles M. Geschke.