Looking back on this year thus far with ASC there is so much to be grateful for. Knowing that this year is coming soon to a close fills me with so many emotions. Love for those around me, gratitude for all the experiences both big and small, and even a small amount of sadness knowing that I might be leaving this incredible school community and these young men who have impacted my life in ways I couldn’t even imagine was possible. Thank you God for this opportunity and choosing me to work at Loyola Academy.
ASC has allowed me to enter into genuine relationships with students, colleagues, and community members. I have come to know myself better and seen love from so many people this year.
I’m grateful for my colleagues who always support me, my students who make me laugh every single day, and getting to be part of a phenomenal Regis Jesuit High School community. I never feel alone at school and feel supported and loved always.
I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given this year, namely my chance to coach the alongside veteran coaches on the cross country team. The mentors I have had will have a lasting impact on my life and character, whether or not I remain in secondary education.
Being an ASC this year has helped me grow a lot in my abilities as a teacher. At Arrupe Jesuit High School, being in a position to co-teach has allowed me to learn from experienced teachers first-hand but also be given constructive criticism and encouragement from those same teachers. I am grateful for being able to grow in community with my housemates and with my extended ASC cohort. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time.
I am grateful for the daily opportunities to come to know myself in context with others. It is surprisingly easy to forget that we – students, staff, faculty, individuals – all exist in the same world and react to the same happenings. I am grateful for the communities in school with students and staff, and outside of school with my fellow volunteers, that remind me that I am ALWAYS part of a community: no matter large or small.
Community is the cornerstones of the ASC experience. Every time we gather for retreat, with members of our cohort from across the province, it feels like coming home — home to family and friends made distant by time and space, but not distanced in charity nor fellowship . We share food and drink and our stories of teaching and living in community. I am so grateful for this program, and my fellow ASC volunteers.
Choosing ASC means committing yourself to a year of saying yes. Yes to late nights at school after coaching a hard practice. Yes to retreats and forming connections with students outside of the classroom. Yes to impromptu food runs with your roommates. All these things and countless more are invitations that being ASC will provide, and the resounding response is a life giving yes in return.
I am grateful every day that I have been graced with this opportunity to serve the students in our Jesuit community and to love them with abandon. I am grateful for the guidance and care I have received from my mentors.
This past semester as I read Tuesdays with Morrie, with a group of my freshman students for their independent reading, I was reminded of something so simple yet profound. The book stated, “Love wins. Love always wins”(Lowry 52). This theme has carried me through the year. As an ASC at a Arrupe I am constantly surrounded my those that are “exploding” with love day in and day out. I am so thankful for my experiences and those that have made Denver, CO my home.
The ASC year is the gift of time: time for service, discernment, reflection, self-betterment, community, and rest. After so many years focusing on my own learning and growth, ASC has given me the time to work for others and to consider how that work can continue into the future.
I’m surrounded by great people because of this program. And that is the bottom line; I am surrounded by, engaged with, and a part of great people. De Smet, my housemates, and the ASC itself — these are the communities that call me their own, and these are people who care deeply. What I’ve gained from this year is this: I have become more like the people who surround me, as we all do, and for that I have become better.