Monthly Archives: November 2012

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Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

Giving is what this season is all about! Sure, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are all well known. And now, it’s Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday should be the most celebrated, because this holiday season, it’s the support you show your local, national and favorite charities that matters the most. Give to Lasallian Volunteers on Giving Tuesday and make an impact on education in neighborhoods across the United States.

By |November 26th, 2012|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Giving Tuesday

Sean Ruane: Freedom Lies in Being Bold

Sean Ruane, 12-13, La Salle High School, Yakima, WA

The great poet Robert Frost once said, “Freedom lies in being bold.” If you were to ask a million different people what that quote means to them, you could potentially receive a million different answers. I am personally a tremendous fan of Robert Frost. However, I did not choose that particular quote because I like it. I chose it because I believe it has tremendous application to the life and achievements of Rosa Parks.

I haven’t taken a survey or anything, but I’d like to think that the majority of Americans know of Rosa Parks and are aware of the stand (pun intended) that she took for African American men and women on December 1, 1955. But on that note, if you think that Rosa Parks is just the name of an OutKast song, then I think it may be time for you to turn off Jersey Shore and read a book. Or if you’re feeling tired, I guess Wikipedia will suffice.

To this day, I can recall learning about Rosa Parks as a first grader and being tremendously intrigued. Don’t get too impressed with the first grade version of me though. I wasn’t impressed by her tremendous contribution to the world. No, first grade Sean was impressed by the fact that she was able to become famous by merely sitting on a bus. I remember thinking to myself- “Really? It’s that easy?” In that moment, I instantly had my mind made up. I was going to abandon my dream of becoming a professional athlete and dedicate my life to “professional bus sitting.” I think it’s important to mention that, as of today, I am neither a professional athlete nor a “professional bus sitter.”

It wasn’t until a few years later that I began to fully understand the amazing significance of December 1- the day Rosa Parks refused to get up from her seat in Montgomery,Alabama. In general, when we read about Rosa Parks in books, articles, or on the internet, it’s easy to underscore her role in the Civil Rights movement. Primarily because people fail to realize that her involvement extends far beyond that one day where she decided to stay seated on the bus. As you evaluate that one momentous day, put yourself in her shoes for a moment. Imagine how frightening it must have been to resist a crowd of angry white men and women who, by law, had the right to ask her to get up from her seat. It wasn’t like segregated public transportation was just a fad or trending on Twitter. It was a law. Rosa Parks consciously broke the law that day.

There is no question that Rosa Parks will always be revered as one of the most influential figures in our nation’s history. Her arrest that day inspired African Americans around the country to deny their fears and be bold in fighting for their freedom. After all, “freedom lies in being bold.”

Another one of my favorite quotes comes from Rosa Parks herself. She said, “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” I don’t know about you, but that quote gives me goose bumps every time I read it. Often in our daily lives, we are confronted with situations where conformity is encouraged. And conformity seems to always be the easier option. But the easiest option is not always the right one. In fact, I’ve found that the easiest option is the wrong one more often than not. And that is why I get goose bumps every time I read that quote.

It’s inspirational figures like Rosa who provide me with the motivation to wake up at 5 A.M every day so that I can get to school and be the best that I can be for my students. Her action affirms my desire to spend a large part of my weekend carefully planning for classes, so that I can reach my students by providing a safe and enjoyable learning atmosphere for them. So that I can touch the hearts and minds of the 60 kids that I see every day in my classroom. So that one step at a time, one day at a time, I can try and make the world a better place by educating and inspiring kids who have to face the harsh reality of poverty and social injustice on a daily basis.

As a first year Lasallian Volunteer, I’ve quickly learned that poverty and social justice issues can’t be solved by sitting back on our heels. We have to be proactive and intentional in our actions, every moment of every day. We have to dare to be bold.

Yes, Rosa Parks made a significant contribution to the African American community and the Civil Rights movement. But her example should not be limited to the African American community. Her bold action and strong initiative should serve as a model for everyone in our country to be strong and to do what “we know is right,” even in the face of doubt or opposition.

Sean Ruane, 12-13, La Salle High School,  Yakima, WA

By |November 26th, 2012|Categories: blog, news + events|1 Comment

Caroline Haik: Be Thankful

“Be thankful for the bad things that happen in life, For they open your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before.” Anonymous

Caroline Haik, 12-13, De La Salle Middle School at St. Matthew's, St. Louis, MO

Why is it that we are only thankful for all the good things in our lives? We are thankful when a child is born; we are thankful when we get a new job; we are thankful when we are around our family. It is easy to be thankful for the things we have but what about when things do not go our way? Are we thankful?  Or do we become frustrated and mad?  After a bad or negative event happens, we don’t say, “Thank you God for this horrible experience”, but maybe we should. God will never give us anything we cannot handle and each unique experience, good or bad, shapes us into the person we are today. No matter how bad something may seem, there is always some good in our life. It may be hard to see this while it is happening, but it is there. Choosing to focus on the bad things will only blind us from the good things we already have in our life. Too many times we forget how truly blessed we are despite the small bumps we experience. Those bumps are not meant to break us, but rather to make us stronger and to open our eyes to the good in life.

While thinking about the bumps I have experienced in St. Louis, the one that has affected me the most occurred with in the first two months of moving here. One evening, my community members and I had our purses stolen while we were walking to our car from dinner. This experience caused me to question whether or not St. Louis was the place I should be right now. After a lot of reflection, prayer and support, I realized that St. Louis is exactly where I need to be. Being a Lasallian Volunteer, I firmly believe in its mission to educate the poor and give the youth a chance at a future. Without this program, many youth, in areas like St. Louis, would not receive an education and because of that would not have the opportunities those with an education have. Because of schools like De La Salle, our kids have the chance to BE SOMEBODY and will not have to resort to crime and violence in their life. I am not thankful for this event happening, but I am thankful for the reinforcement and confidence it gave me in my decision to be an LV. I am teaching at De La Salle, so someday my students will not have to rob innocent people, instead they can BE SOMEBODY.

While being thankful for the bad, in addition to the good, may be a difficult concept to grasp, it is something that the LV experience is teaching me day by day. With each new challenge, I am growing and becoming the person I am meant to be.

Caroline Haik, 12-13, De La Salle Middle School at St. Matthew’s, St. Louis, MO

By |November 19th, 2012|Categories: blog|Comments Off on Caroline Haik: Be Thankful

Sean Barber: Remembering Those Who Served

Sean Barber, 11-13, San Miguel School, Tulsa, OK

On November 11th our nation recognizes Veterans Day, a holiday honoring the men and women who served in the armed forces. Many have heard of this holiday but few remember its origin. Veterans Day as we know it was formerly Armistice Day, to recognize the day that the First World War ended. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 we ended one of the worst events in human history. Now 94 years later it might just be time to remember the armistice once more.

Throughout the world today we hear about a conflict in one country, potential war in another and worse yet crime in our own backyards. It was because of these facts that so many joined various service organizations across the United States just like the Lasallian Volunteers. My time as an LV has been an eye opening experience. When I first moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, all I could tell you about the city was that one of my best friends had moved from Tulsa to Chicago. But the more time I spend in the city the more I realize that every city and town across the world and right here in the United States needs help from everyday people. The very point of Veterans Day is to remember everyday men and women who stepped up to the challenge of serving their country and trying the make the world better. The LVs give many people, including myself, a chance to serve in some of the most forgotten parts of our country.

When I first moved to Tulsa, I was in shock. I was hundreds of miles from home and was a first year teacher with little experience. I kept questioning why in the world I was doing this and how I could help all of these students if I was scared? The one thing that kept me going was the support of my family and friends. Everyone I knew said they were proud of me and the work I was doing. After a while I realized that the amazing people who work at the San Miguel School, the Lasallian Mission, and the middle school students I serve are the reasons why I am in Tulsa.

Every day I get to interact with people who try to bring peace to the world by changing the very city they live in and I hope these good deeds keep spreading outward to the rest of the world. Everyone has the opportunity to bring peace to the world and have their own armistice. So today, why not try to bring peace not only to the people that you work with, the stranger you meet, your family and friends but most importantly…to yourself.

Sean Barber, 11-13, San Miguel School, Tulsa, OK

 

By |November 12th, 2012|Categories: blog|1 Comment

LV Application for 2013-2014 Now Available

Applications for the 2013-2014 service year are now available by request!

Please email Zac Ufnar at zufnar@cbconf.org to request one.

Our priority deadline is February 15th

After the 15th we will accept applications on a rolling basis. Thank you!

By |November 6th, 2012|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on LV Application for 2013-2014 Now Available