In November, a delegation of our Senior High students joined over 2000 youth committed to faith and justice at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) in Washington (hosted by the Ignatian Solidarity Network), accompanied by teachers Ms. Colette Prior and Ms. Carolyn Windsor. Our students joined in many learning and action experiences related to social justice issues in immigration, mass incarceration and more. See below for a personal reflection on the experience from student Aaron Greenland ’19:
“Men and Women for others”. Many of us students here at St. Bon’s hear this line every day when we go to school, but do we really understand its true meaning? Well, until my recent trip to Washington I thought I did. I was wrong.
I’ve been attending St. Bonaventure’s College for nearly 13 years now, and in those years I have had several volunteering experiences, including the opportunity to volunteer in El Salvador. I’ve always thought that just volunteering and trying to be a nice person in my everyday life made me a “man for others”. However after going to the conference in Washington and learning about the struggles and good things that people are doing all around the world, I’ve come to realize that there is more to being a “person for others” than just volunteering. Being a “man for others” means being passionate about a cause and taking action, like the Peace Poets who rap about social justice issues to inspire change, or the Universidad de Central America that sheltered protestors from government forces. At this conference we not only learned about the actions of others but we also learned about issues happening today that we can take action on.
The IFTJ Washington trip is more than just a travel opportunity, it gives students the opportunity to learn about what it really means to be a “Man or Woman for others”.